The effect of gestational age at birth on post-term maturation of heart rate variability

Karinna Fyfe, Stephanie Yiallourou, Flora Yuen-Wait Wong, Alexsandria Odoi, Adrian Mark Walker, Rosemary Sylvia Claire Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Preterm birth delays maturation of autonomic cardiovascular control, reflected in reduced heart rate variability (HRV), in preterm compared to term infants at term-equivalent age. It has been suggested that immature cardiovascular control contributes to the increased risk for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in preterm infants. However, the effect of prone sleeping, the major SIDS risk factor, and of gestational age (GA) at birth on HRV have not been assessed in preterm infants beyond term-equivalent age. Subjects and Methods: Very preterm (n=21; mean GA 29.4?0.3wk), preterm (n=14; mean GA 33.5?0.3wk) and term (n=17; mean GA 40.1?0.3wk) infants were recruited and underwent daytime polysomnography at 2-4 weeks, 2-3 months and 5-6 months post-term corrected age (CA). Infants slept both supine and prone. HRV was assessed in the low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) ranges. Results: There was no effect of prone sleeping on HRV parameters in either preterm group. In term infants LF/HF was significantly elevated in the prone position in AS at 2-4 weeks (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635 - 1644
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this