Effect of Exercise on ECG Components and their Correlation with Body Mass Index among Young Asymptomatic Obese and Non-obese Individuals: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Sujoy Mukherjee,
“Matridham”; c/o. Mrityunjoy Mukherjee, At-Kendua, P.O. + P.S.-Suri, District-Birbhum-731101, Suri, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: The worldwide higher prevalence of obesity is currently one of the most important reasons for the occurrence of several health disorders, along with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. However, the magnitude of the effect of sub-maximal aerobic exercise on cardiac autonomic and electrical function among Indian obese individuals has yet to be established.
Aim: To evaluate the effect of exercise on ECG components and their correlation with Body Mass Index (BMI) among young asymptomatic obese and non-obese individuals, in order to assess the risk for developing Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) in the future.
Materials and Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted at the Autonomic Research Laboratory of the Physiology Department at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, between January 2017 to December 2017. Two hundred healthy medicos were divided into two groups: Obese (BMI ≥25 kg/mÂ²; n=88) and non-obese (BMI ≥18.5 to ≤23 kg/mÂ²; n=112). Resting Blood Pressure (BP) was manually recorded, followed by the recording of long lead-II ECG in the supine posture both at rest and ten minutes after submaximal (50% VO2max) aerobic exercise on a treadmill using the modified Bruce protocol and following the Astrand-Rhyming nomogram. The HR, QT interval, and RR interval were recorded from the lead-II ECG. The measured QT interval was corrected using Bazett’s formula (QTC=QT/vRR). The results were analysed using both unpaired and paired t-tests and the Pearson correlation coefficient in Graphpad-Quickcalc software.
Results: Significant prolongation of the QTc interval both at rest (p-value: 0.019) and after exercise (p-value: 0.044), along with delayed Heart Rate Recovery (HRR) (p-value: 0.001), were observed among the obese compared to the non-obese population. Additionally, a significantly positive linear correlation was observed between BMI and ECG components at rest (BMI-RHR: r:+0.293; p: 0.005 and BMI-QTc Interval: r:+0.226; p-value: 0.034) and during the recovery state (BMI-HRR: r:+0.42; p-value: 0.00004 and BMI-QTc Interval: r:+0.365; p-value: 0.0004), only among the obese.
Conclusion: At rest, obese individuals had an elevated QTc, which could be due to alterations in cardiac autonomic function, along with a significant positive correlation between BMI and RHR, indicating lower aerobic fitness in this population. Prolongation of the QTc interval, delayed decrease in HR, and a significant positive correlation with BMI after exercise in obese individuals indicated myocardial repolarisation instability, autonomic dysfunction, and an increased risk of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac events in these individuals.