Impact of mental stress on heart rate asymmetry

Saman Parvaneh, Nima Toosizadeh, Sadaf Moharreri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


This article studies the impact of mental stress induced by open-road driving on heart rate asymmetry (HRA), a physiological phenomenon that quantifies imbalance of heart rate acceleration and deceleration. Using ECG data of 10 individuals from a retrospective database from Physionet, three common HRA indexes (i.e., Porta Index-PI, Guzik Index-GI, and Slope Index-SI) were calculated within five minutes time windows across different stress levels. Results revealed that on average HRA significantly reduced by 2.1% with stress level (p<0.05) and HRA was lower in high stress, compared to moderate and low stress. Further pairwise comparison revealed that PI was significantly different between low and moderate stress (p=0.004) as well as moderate and high stress (p=0.047). Also, GI and SI were independent discriminators between low and moderate stress (p<0.001), and low and high stress (p<0.001). These results suggest that HRA can be used as a new biomarker for stress assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputing in Cardiology Conference 2015, CinC 2015
EditorsAlan Murray
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509006854
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015
Event42nd Computing in Cardiology Conference, CinC 2015 - Nice, France
Duration: Sep 6 2015Sep 9 2015

Publication series

NameComputing in Cardiology
ISSN (Print)2325-8861
ISSN (Electronic)2325-887X


Conference42nd Computing in Cardiology Conference, CinC 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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