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Using Heart Rate Variability as a measure of "biological age" (and the Palo Alto Longevity Prize)

heart biological age rate variability

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#1 Gordo

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 05:28 PM

I did search first, but did not find much in the forums about heart rate variability.  It was mentioned only twice, including the following reference only:

 

Calorie restriction in humans: An update.
Most J, Tosti V, Redman LM, Fontana L.
Ageing Res Rev. 2016 Aug 17. pii: S1568-1637(16)30183-0. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.08.005. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

PMID: 27544442

http://sci-hub.cc/10...arr.2016.08.005
those who are self-practicing this dietary intervention allows us to speculate on longer-term effects of more severe CR in humans.
[From the full-text: 
Heart rate variability in the CR practitioners was comparable with published norms for healthy men and women 20 years younger (Stein et al., 2012) ... hormonal adaptations that have been reported in long-lived CR rodents, and are also implicated in the pathogenesis of several common cancers (Longo and Fontana, 2010), occurred in these individuals practicing severe CR.]

 

I was wondering first of all, if anyone here is regularly tracking their heart rate variability, and if so, what device are you using and what are your results?  This seems like something simple anyone could potentially track from home using their phone, an HRV app, and a relatively inexpensive bluetooth monitor.  I once was tracking my own HRV but I was not confident in the chepo device I was using and once its battery died I never did any more with it.

 

The reason I am thinking about this today is due to reading the following article:

 

HRV Demographics, Part 1 – Age & Gender

by Jason Moore | Jul 6, 2016 | applicationhealthresearchscience

...excerpt:

"It is well established that HRV is a measure of biological age. Biological age correlates heavily with homeostatic capacity, which is the body’s ability to self-stabilize in response to stressors. Studies have shown that biological age is a better measure for determining health status and risk than chronological age. Yes, chronological age correlates very strongly with biological age. However, there are now many communities that are discovering that lifestyle choices can strongly influence your biological age regardless of chronological age."

"In fact, the notion that one can control biological age has so much interest that there is $1 million dollar prize being offered by The Race Against Time Foundation to competing teams that aim to reduce biological age. The foundation is backed by anti-aging thought leaders from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the Alliance for Aging Research, and dozens more research organizations.

“[The prize] will be awarded to the first team to demonstrate that it can restore homeostatic capacity (using Heart Rate Variability as the surrogate measure) of an aging reference mammal to that of a young adult.” The group has selected Heart Rate Variability as the indicator to determine the teams’ abilities to improve biological age through an improvement in homeostatic capacity."

"Since biological age is not easily quantifiable except via HRV measurement itself, here are some normal ranges for HRV based on chronological age according to the study analyzing 260 healthy subjects performed by Umetani et. al, 1998."

HRVAge-Table-300x253.png

 

 

 

 

 

This in turn led me to the intriguing Palo Alto Longevity Prize:

$500,000 Palo Alto Homeostatic Capacity Prize

The $500,000 Palo Alto Homeostatic Capacity Prize will be awarded to the first team to demonstrate that it can restore homeostatic capacity (using heart rate variability as the surrogate measure) of an aging reference mammal to that of a young adult.

 



#2 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 02:10 AM

Gordo,

 

How cool is that! I knew HRV was an important marker of health and mortality risk (like VO2Max), but I had know idea there was such a prize for restoring it to youthful levels. I was one of Luigi's subjects in that HRV study you reference. He had us wear a heart rate monitor for 24 hours while we visited his lab in St. Louis. I don't think he ever shared our scores with us, but I bet he might still have them and be willing to if we ask. It's cool to see a table of age-standardized HRV measurements.

 

That is a long way of saying I'm game.

 

If we can identify a reliable heart rate monitor and app (Android) I'd buy it. Then we could compare with each other, and with anyone else who'd like to participate in our little study. Perhaps we could even compare ourselves longitudinally with the HRV measures that Luigi collected on some of us so many years ago. I'm almost certain Kenton (aka Mr. Competitive - in a good way!) would join us. Heck, I'd actually be surprised if Kenton wasn't already tracking his own HRV. :-)

 

Maybe TomB would join in as well. Perhaps we could do a little citizen science project with a standardized HRV monitor and protocol among a bunch of us crazies.

 

Maybe You and I could get to the bottom of HIIT vs. "long & slow". :-)

 

Here is a long-shot. Maybe Michael would join in and we could find out who's aged more since Luigi's study and who's gonna live longer. He's younger than I am, but I'm willing to spot him a few years, just to make it fair :-).

 

Maybe we could bet (or take bets!) to raise money for our favorite charities. I know, I'm getting a little carried away. But I like this idea.

 

What do you (and others) think?

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#3 Gordo

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 04:09 PM

I think its a good idea!  I'm intrigued by HRV, when I was tracking mine, I noticed that when my HRV decreased, almost invariably I would notice soon after (the next day or the same day) that my immune system was fighting something, so I learned to take it easy as soon as I saw that signal, its actually pretty useful in that way.  I think the best app is "Elite HRV".  The compatible monitors they recommend are the polar H7 and the Wahoo TICKR, they are both $49.99 on Amazon.  Based on customer reviews, I think I'd prefer the Wahoo TICKR.  

 

Unfortunately I have always had a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system, I have even participated in one research study related to this condition, which is associated with low HRV.  I really don't know what the connection is exactly, but I am HOPING that doesn't mean my expected lifespan is lower as a result.  I suspect your readings will be far higher than mine.  I would like to study this topic more, I'm not yet convinced that comparisons between different people is "legit" (as opposed to your personal trend over time by itself).  The article I posted above sort of hints at this as well, but kind of leaves it up in the air.  I wish I knew what my readings would have been say 10, 20, and 30 years ago for comparison.

 

-Gordo



#4 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 05:20 PM

Thanks Gordo,

 

I too am intrigued, especially since I suspect both of us have elevated sympathetic nervous system activity as a result of our cold exposure practices. It will be interesting to see how CE impacts HRV.

 

I think the best app is "Elite HRV". 

 

Funny, I just remembered I have Elite HRV already installed on my phone. I downloaded it many moons ago to see if it would work with my cheap (Aldi's brand) bluetooth heart rate monitor. It didn't, and at the time I didn't think it worth springing for one of the compatible HR monitors. But now I do!

 

The compatible monitors they recommend are the polar H7 and theWahoo TICKR, they are both $49.99 on Amazon.  Based on customer reviews, I think I'd prefer the Wahoo TICKR.  

 

Sounds good to me. Unless someone else (i.e. our resident gadget guru Kenton...) chimes in with a better alternative, I'm game for buying the TICKR. I'll ping Kenton in case he's not paying attention.

 

Anybody else game for a little citizen science on HRV?

 

How about you Michael, Mr. Vice President for Research and chief citizen science advocate? As I recall you were gung-ho about a couple ideas for citizen science projects people brainstormed during the rap session at the Conference. Any update on those? Or how about that immune system study we were hoping to get going with Dr. Janko Nikolich-Žugich, still prominently displayed on our home page...?

 

In your comments in the CR Motivation survey, you wrote:

I also continue to practice in hopes of contributing to human CR science, potentially helping to more firmly establish or rebut translatability and informing the development of longevity therapeutics. 

 

That is a goal we both share. Since academic researchers aren't beating down the door to study us any more, and we can't seem to field enough subjects even when they do..., it appears our only remaining "hope of contributing to human CR science" (short of our death certificates) is to take the science into our own hands. Given Luigi studied our HRV many years back, and HRV is clearly considered a reasonable candidate for a biomarker of aging, this seems like about as good an opportunity for citizen science as any.

 

How about it? Do you want to join us, and perhaps even organize us? Maybe you have other suggestions? Perhaps we could all get OGTTs1? ☺

 

--Dean

 

1Just noticed your edit to that post. I love Inigo Montoya's "I do not think it means what you think it means" quote. Great minds think alike. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But did your really feel the need to Trump me, by upping the ante with a GIF? I'll have to use that next time, or come up with something better!


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#5 Gordo

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:32 AM

Alright Dean, game on!  My Wahoo TICKR has been ordered.  Interestingly enough, a guy just started selling them on eBay for $35 (lowest price anywhere), brand new, and he has 100% positive feedback, he has already sold over 100 of them.  Now is the time to get one:

 

Wahoo fit TICKR Heart Rate TrainerRun/Bike/Gym Amazing value only $35 Brand NEW 

 

It seems to work with all of the major apps both android and iPhone including all the major fitness tracker apps (although personally I mostly only care about HRV).

 

-Gordo



#6 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:42 AM

Gordo,

 

Done - game on! Mine's on order too. Kenton said he's on-board too - but didn't have any better suggestions for HRV monitors. I'll ping him to make sure he orders this one too.

 

Anybody else going to join us!

 

TomB - we could really use someone with your meticulous approach to protocols to formulate a test plan for all of us. How about it? (I'll ping him too in case he's not paying attention).

 

Update: Talked to TomB. He's out. Too busy with work and personal stuff.

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#7 Kenton

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 12:13 PM

Thx for pinging me off list. I try to keep up here in the crsociety "house" but often am behind. Email typically will get straight to the middle of my brain real-time at (almost) the speed of light!  Game on.  I got one.  Thx Dean, Thx Gordo!!



#8 Thomas G

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 12:47 PM

Would it be useful to have someone new to CR to join? If so, I might be interested. $50 is a bit steep for my budget, but $35 seems doable.



#9 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 12:56 PM

Thomas,

 

Would it be useful to have someone new to CR to join? If so, I might be interested. $50 is a bit steep for my budget, but $35 seems doable.

 

Your data would be very valuable, since it might help to show changes over time in HRV, and allow you to correlate them with adjustments you make to your diet & lifestyle.

 

We'd love to have your participate in our citizen science experiment. The more the merrier!

 

--Dean

 


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#10 Danielovich

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 01:25 PM

I would like to participate as well.
I've tried to order it, but as I live in a kibbutz in Israel eBay would not approve my address.
I'll try to order tomorrow to a friends house, who lives in a big city.



#11 Todd Allen

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:37 PM

I've ordered one too.  I had been looking at watch style heart rate monitors but had not yet found one with a desirable combination of specs, reviews and price.  I'd rather have a watch than a chest strap, but I haven't seen an inexpensive watch that appears to actually perform well as a real time heart monitor.

 

I'd be willing to participate in a citizen science "study" though my data may be of little value as I'm rather atypical.



#12 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:37 PM

Wonderful Daniel -  And once again, welcome!

 

I hope you can get a Wahoo Tickr. Besides eBay, it is also available on Amazon for a somewhat higher price ($50). Is it easier to get stuff from Amazon for you there in Israel?

 

I'm not sure about your personal background (you haven't told us much yet), but your day job as Cofounder and CTO at Healthymize.com sounds incredibly interesting and relevant:

 

Healthymize is developing a suite of smartphone apps that passively monitor and diagnose diseases based on analyses of patients' voice and breathing during regular voice calls , without interfering with their daily routines.

 

That sounds so cool - if you can really pull it off! I'd love to learn more about you and your company / technology. It sounds very relevant to several of our mutual interests ☺.

 

Maybe you could start a new thread to introduce yourself, on either ChitChat, General Health, or CR Practice, depending on the angle you want to take in your intro. You could also post to Members Only, but then Google can't crawl it, and by now I suspect you know how I feel about that ☺.

 

If you really want to remain in stealth mode, we can just continue our off-forum conversation, which I'm finding fascinating. But I think others will too, so I encourage you to post a little more about yourself.

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#13 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:47 PM

Todd,

 

I've ordered one too. 

 

Great! We're getting quite a group.

 

I'd be willing to participate in a citizen science "study" though my data may be of little value as I'm rather atypical.

 

Your data will definitely need to be asterisked Todd, should we ever get our results published! ☺

 

I'd rather have a watch than a chest strap, but I haven't seen an inexpensive watch that appears to actually perform well as a real time heart monitor.

 

Agreed. I don't plan to continuously wear the Tickr chest strap. I really like my FitBit Charge HR (my review here). Have you considered it? You can probably get it for less now on Amazon or eBay, since they've come out with an updated model.

 

I don't think you'll want Michael's favorite, the Basis Peak, and not just because it looks like a Casio from the mid 70s. It was recently recalled due to overheating problems. There I go again, slipping into picking on Michael. A hard habit to break. Sorry Michael (if you're actually reading this thread...).

 

Kenton seemed to be excited about the Hesvit S3 which he discussed in these posts. It's much less expensive than the FitBit, but not quite as nice if you ask me. Maybe Kenton can comment on his experience with it now that he's had it for a few months.

 

Unfortunately, none of the wrist models that I'm aware of support HRV monitoring. They really should. I wonder if it's just not possible being that far away from the heart. Daniel, any insights on that? You're a physicist and CTO at a company doing biometrics...

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#14 Danielovich

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 03:32 PM

 

Wonderful Daniel -  And once again, welcome!

 

Dean,

Thanks a lot, I wish I had found this place years ago.

 

 

I'm not sure about your personal background (you haven't told us much yet), but your day job as Cofounder and CTO at Healthymize.com sounds incredibly interesting and relevant:

 

Healthymize is developing a suite of smartphone apps that passively monitor and diagnose diseases based on analyses of patients' voice and breathing during regular voice calls , without interfering with their daily routines.

 

That sounds so cool - if you can really pull it off! I'd love to learn more about you and your company / technology. It sounds very relevant to several of our mutual interests ☺.

 

Maybe you could start a new thread to introduce yourself, on either ChitChatGeneral Health, or CR Practice, depending on the angle you want to take in your intro. You could also post to Members Only, but then Google can't crawl it, and by now I suspect you know how I feel about that ☺.

 

Done!
 



#15 Todd S

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:50 PM

Dean -- FYI,

 

I've now also ordered the Yahoo fit TICKR from eBay. Delivery is projected to be the end of September. [This is my second ever eBay purchase. The first was the vibration platform that you talked about -- see https://www.crsociet...lth/#entry16514 -- and that I continue to enjoy briefly standing on and doing a supported handstand on every morning.]

 

I'm willing to contribute my future HRV data if it seems that it might be useful information.

 

Todd [S]


Edited by Todd S, 11 September 2016 - 08:55 PM.


#16 Gordo

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 09:35 PM

Its great that we have several people on board with this, we may learn a lot about what interventions are most effective at improving HRV and/or what long term lifestyle factors correlate to various HRV levels and by extension improve our understanding of their impact on aging.  

 

I posted a link to this thread on the CR Society facebook page, and received some feedback already.  One thing I've read is that there are many different ways of representing HRV and I think most of the apps do it differently so it may be hard to translate numbers from app to app, but Leo says he has been tracking his HRV for 6 years (using ithlete and an old device that uses a dongle).  Interestingly, he says his HRV goes UP in response to cold exposure and is most influenced by sleep.  Considering I do pretty serious cold exposure and have amazing sleep, maybe things won't be so bad for me -- then again he says work stress and high intensity training lower his HRV...

 

 

 

Leo Sho-silva Ive been using one the last 6 years or so ...haven't had a cold since ..HRV aligns with pulse pressure
14291681_10206989557720117_8732352619273
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Darren Gordon Leo Sho-silvaDo you use any apps besides ithlete? If you look at a chart of your 6 year history, what is the slope? Have you ever tried the elite HRV app and if so, what is you HRV score with it? Finally, I am curious to know if you've noticed dips in your HRV that corresponded with your body being in "recovery" either from your immune system fighting something, or after intense exercise, injury, or lack of sleep. Thanks!
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Leo Sho-silva Over 6 year its average around high 60s which is average for my age..I up until recently only had ithletes dongle so couldn't try others.I now have a Bluetooth transmitter so might try elite,but ithletes 1 minute protocol is scientifically valid.
Thing
s which raise my hrv are good sleep, cold showers and good consistent maf running (180 minus age BPM).
Things that lower my hrv is anything that hammers my CNS eg high intensity training ,my kids being ill ,stress at work or at home,and things that niggle me .One time our hot water wasn't working for a few days..I thought I wasn't phased by it but HRV plummeted for a week then returned to normal when everything got fixed..I haven't quite worked out what is optimal exercise wise ..can't really see link with diet as I tend to eat same most days..Sleep seems to be biggest factor
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Leo Sho-silva I had my highest scores when family went on holiday and I was home myself high 80s ,confident I can get it back up there ..maybe :)...although a rising hrv could also signify aging
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Darren Gordon In what way can a rising HRV signify aging? I have not heard of that before. Thanks by the way for your detailed responses.
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#17 Danielovich

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 05:36 AM

I've ordered it now, the shipping to Israel was $30  :unsure: 
It will arrive mid October.

Gordo - Do you have a nice guide for the HRV? how one converts the readings to the biological age? 



#18 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 03:34 PM

I'm so excited to see so much interest in our HRV citizen science. It warms my heart ☺. Thanks for kicking this off Gordo.

 

I read with interest both the FB person's observation that sleep, long-slow cardio, and cold exposure helps increase HRV, while HIIT drops it. ☺

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#19 Dean Pomerleau

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 03:59 PM

P.S.  The FB guy's observation about CE boosting HRV is intriguing. I wonder if there is any literature on that? I'd check, but I'm a bit busy at the moment...

 

Anyone else care to check into it, and post on the CE thread, with a link from here over there, or visa versa? Hint, hint... 

 

--Dean


There will never be peace in the world while there are animals in our bellies.

#20 Gordo

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 09:22 PM

Yes Dean, I too am intrigued by the prospect of CE improving HRV which certainly at face value seems unlikely due to the fact that CE boosts sympathetic nervous system activity, which in turn lowers HRV.  Perhaps there is some sort of "rebound" effect that kicks in after you temporarily stop CE (like I do when I sleep, or after a cold shower, etc).  In fact in Caloric restriction may reverse age-related autonomic decline in humans  (of which you participated) they even talk about using beta blocker drugs to suppress the sympathetic nervous system which has been shown to significantly increase HRV.  This is an interesting tangent to me, as I have not previously read much about beta blockers as longevity drugs, but a quick search did turn up 

Increasing longevity by decreasing sympathetic stress – early si1.gif receptor blockade pharmacotherapy

I kind of wonder if there might be some synergy between beta blockers and CE (even though personally I hate the idea of taking ANY drug long term).  But I also wonder if (or how much) it really matters as far as longevity goes, if you compromise your HRV via CE or example, or you boost your HRV via drugs for example - maybe these "artificial" manipulations are meaningless?  I'm not sure how well understood the mechanisms are here.  Clearly you do not want to see your HRV declining much as you age, but what if it's on the low side when you are young or middle age but rock steady as you age?  Maybe there is some crossover point where you end up on top later in life as your peers decline?

 

 

 

 

Do you have a nice guide for the HRV? how one converts the readings to the biological age? 

 

So far the only one I've seen is the chart included in the first post of this thread.  The same was also referenced by:

 

Caloric restriction may reverse age-related autonomic decline in humans

Which also includes a lot of other information that might be of value to anyone participating in our little study here.

 

Leo also provided some additional info including a reference to:

Power spectral analysis of heart rate in subjects over a hundred years old. I can't seem to find the full text, but he posted the following image from the study which is intriguing, apparently if you live long enough eventually your HRV may turn back up again although this was not reflected in Umetani et al, 1998 (perhaps becuase it only happens when you pass the century mark!)  Then again, maybe this is just a misleading representation and the "ultra-centenarians" just always had higher HRV?  I have no idea but clearly the 100+ crowd is "special" and the vast majority of people under 85 are "not special" in terms of longevity so a chart like this now that I think about it more, seems really ridiculous and is not evidence of a U-shaped curve for HRV over one's lifetime.  Thoughts?

 

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Edited by Gordo, 12 September 2016 - 10:06 PM.




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