Heart-rate-variability (HRV), predicts outcomes in COVID-19

Background: Patients with COVID-19 present with a variety of clinical manifestations, ranging from mild or asymptomatic disease to severe illness and death. Whilst previous studies have clarified these and several other aspects of COVID-19, one of the ongoing challenges regarding COVID-19 is to determine which patients are at risk of adverse outcomes of COVID-19 infection. It is hypothesized that this is the result of insufficient inhibition of the immune response, with the vagus nerve being an important neuro-immuno-modulator of inflammation. Vagus nerve activity can be non-invasively indexed by heart-rate-variability (HRV). Therefore, we aimed to assess the prognostic value of HRV, as a surrogate marker for vagus nerve activity, in predicting mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) referral, in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

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