The HRV analysis is a powerful, very accurate, reliable, reproducible, yet simple to do.
It is found that lowered HRV is associated with aging, decreased autonomic activity, hormonal tonus,specific types of autonomic neuropathies (e.g. diabetic neuropathy) and increased risk of sudden cardiac death after acute heart attack.
Other research indicated that depression, panic disorders and anxiety have negative impact on autonomic function, typically causing depletion of the parasympathetic tonus. On the other hand an increased sympathetic tonus is associated with lowered threshold of ventricular fibrillation. These two factors could explain why such autonomic imbalance caused by significant mental and emotional stress increases risk of heart attack followed by sudden cardiac death.
Aside from that, there are multiple studies indicating that HRV is quite useful as a way to quantitatively measure physiological changes caused by various interventions both pharmacological and non-pharmacological during treatment of many pathological conditions having significant manifestation of lowered HRV.
However it is important to realize that clinical implication of HRV analysis has been clearly recognized in only two medical conditions:
1. Predictor of risk of arrhythmic events or sudden cardiac death after acute heart attack
2. Clinical marker of diabetic neuropathy evolution
Nevertheless, as the number of clinical studies involving HRV in various clinical aspects and conditions grows, HRV remains one of the most promising methods of investigating general health in the future.