What is it about?

This systematic review and meta-analysis of four studies summarise the current evidence on the association between non-acute traumatic injuries and HRV in adults. HRV was found to be lower in injured as compared to uninjured groups in all 4 studies, indicating an autonomic imbalance in the injured population.

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Why is it important?

HRV is a non-invasive marker of autonomic function. Lower levels of HRV are associated with poor overall health and well-being. We reviewed, for the first time, the evidence on the effects of non-acute traumatic injury on HRV- unlike other studies and reviews which have extensively examined the effects of acute traumatic injury on HRV in mostly ICU-based settings. The strength of evidence was evaluated as low- this highlights the paucity of research in the area of non-acute or chronic injuries and their effect on HRV.


Our systematic review is a step towards understanding the HRV profile of individuals who sustain long-term chronic injuries such as military veterans and personnel. Therefore, our future work involves exploring the effects of non-acute combat-related traumatic injury on HRV in the military population to understand the underlying effect on autonomic function.

Rabeea Maqsood
Bournemouth University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Association between non-acute Traumatic Injury (TI) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis, PLoS ONE, January 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280718.
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