The impact of menstrual cycle phase on cardiac autonomic regulation

Paula S. McKinley, Arlene R. King, Peter A. Shapiro, Iordan Slavov, Yixin Fang, Ivy S. Chen, Larry D. Jamner, Richard P. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study investigated menstrual cycle phase differences in heart rate (HR) and RR interval variability (RRV) in 49 healthy, premenopausal, eumenorrheic women (age 30.2±6.2 years). HR and RRV were computed from ambulatory 24-h electrocardiogram, collected for up to 6 days, with at least 1 day each during early to midfollicular and midluteal menstrual phases. Phase effects on HR and RRV were assessed using linear mixed effects models with a random intercept to account for the correlation of observations within each subject as well as intrasubject variation. During follicular phase monitoring, women had significantly lower average HR (-2.33 bpm), and higher standard deviation, the root mean squared successive difference, and high frequency (0.04-0.15 Hz) and low frequency (0.15-0.40 Hz) RRV than during the luteal phase. These results provide strong support for the influence of menstrual phase on cardiac autonomic regulation in premenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Autonomic regulation
  • Heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Normal volunteers


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