Fluctuations of healthy and unhealthy heartbeat intervals
1 School of Science, Monash University - 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Laboratory of Complex Systems, Physics Department, Nara Women's University - Nara 630-8506, Japan
Received: 29 January 2013
Accepted: 19 March 2013
We show that the RR-interval fluctuations, defined as the difference between successive natural-logarithm of the RR interval, for healthy, congestive-heart-failure (CHF) and atrial-fibrillation (AF) subjects are well modeled by non-Gaussian stable distributions. Our results suggest that healthy or unhealthy RR-interval fluctuation can generally be modeled as a sum of a large number of independent physiological effects which are identically distributed with infinite variance. Furthermore, we show for the first time that one indicator —the scale parameter of the stable distribution— is sufficient to robustly distinguish the three groups of subjects. The scale parameters for healthy subjects are smaller than those for AF subjects but larger than those for CHF subjects —this ordering suggests that the scale parameter could be used to objectively quantify the severity of CHF and AF over time and also serve as an early warning signal for a healthy person when it approaches either boundary of the healthy range.
PACS: 87.19.Hh – Cardiac dynamics / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion
© EPLA, 2013