Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Large individual differences in the activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) play a key role in risk for cardiovascular disease. This chapter presents an overview of the measurement strategies that can be used to study ANS activity in samples that are sufficiently large to allow genetic analyses. Heart rate variability, in particular, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is identified as the measure of choice to index parasympathetic activity, whereas preejection period (PEP) is the measure of choice to index sympathetic activity. Twin studies have demonstrated significant genetic contributions to resting levels of both RSA (heritability estimates range from 25 to 71 percent) and PEP (heritability estimates range from 48 to 74 percent) and the genetic variance in these traits seems to further increase under conditions of psychological stress. Identifying the genetic variants that influence parasympathetic and sympathetic activity may increase our understanding of the role of the ANS in cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: sympathetic, parasympathetic, heart rate variability, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, preejection period, twins, heritability

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.