Scale invariance in the nonstationarity of human heart rate

Pedro Bernaola-Galván, Flamen Ch Ivanov, Luís A. Nunes Amaral, H. Eugene Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations

Abstract

We introduce a segmentation algorithm to probe the temporal organization of heterogeneities in human heartbeat interval time series. We find that the lengths of segments with different local mean heart rates follow a power-law distribution and show that this scale-invariant structure is not a simple consequence of the long-range correlations present in the data. The differences in mean heart rates between consecutive segments display a common functional form, but with different parameters for healthy individuals and for heart-failure patients. These findings suggest that there is relevant physiological information hidden in the heterogeneities of the heartbeat time series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume87
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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