Physical Activity, Heart Rate Variability, and Ventricular Arrhythmia During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Retrospective Cohort Study.

Publication date: Feb 05, 2024

Ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) increase with stress and national disasters. Prior research has reported that VA did not increase during the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, and the mechanism for this is unknown. This study aimed to report the presence of VA and changes in 2 factors associated with VA (physical activity and heart rate variability [HRV]) at the onset of COVID-19 lockdown measures in Ontario, Canada. Patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) followed at a regional cardiac center in Ontario, Canada with data available for both HRV and physical activity between March 1 and 31, 2020, were included. HRV, physical activity, and the presence of VA were determined during the pre- (March 1-10, 2020) and immediate postlockdown (March 11-31) period. When available, these data were determined for the same period in 2019. In total, 68 patients had complete data for 2020, and 40 patients had complete data for 2019. Three (7. 5%) patients had VA in March 2019, whereas none had VA in March 2020 (P=. 048). Physical activity was reduced during the postlockdown period (mean 2. 3, SD 1. 6 hours vs mean 2. 1, SD 1. 6 hours; P=. 003). HRV was unchanged during the pre- and postlockdown period (mean 91, SD 30 ms vs mean 92, SD 28 ms; P=. 84). VA was infrequent during the COVID-19 pandemic. A reduction in physical activity with lockdown maneuvers may explain this observation.

Open Access PDF

Concepts Keywords
Canada defibrillator
Cardiac heart rate variability
Pandemic ICD
Postlockdown implantable cardioverter defibrillator
physical activity
ventricular arrhythmias


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO report
disease VO Canada

Original Article

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)