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Old 08-02-2003, 06:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Camp Humphreys, South Korea
Posts: 60
Bushmaster HB User
Post What is vagal tone?

When I take my pulse, my heart rate usually goes up when I breath in and goes down when I breath out.

As far as I know this is called sinus arrhythmia where the rate usually increases with inspiration and decreases with expiration.

One source says "This rhythm is most commonly seen with respiration due to fluctuations in vagal tone. A variation in sinus rhythm which is usually related to respiratory rate and results from increased vagal tone inhibition. The heart rate increases with inspiration and decreases with exhalation."

Also they add that this is common in athletes.

I am not worried about my heart health but I wonder what this vagal tone is...

So what is it?
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:35 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 2
garyb HB User

Here's what I've come up with for vagal tone:
I obtained this information from, [url=""][/url]

A continuous low level flow of impulses down vagal nerves that induces a maintained slowing of the heart (bradycardia) under resting conditions Normally resting heart rate is 70-75 beats/min; without vagal activity, heart rate rises to 120 beats/min.

Old 08-07-2003, 01:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: rockville
Posts: 274
gillian30 HB User

I just returned from a visit to the Mayo Clinic, where I was seen for many different health problems, one of them being extreme tachycardia. They discovered while I was there that I have what is known as a compressed artery, which leads to my heart rate changing as I breathe in and out. This is commonly seen in athletes and/or young women who tend to be rather slim. This could be what is happening to you. As far as I know, it's no big deal unless more than one artery is compressed, which leads to bigger problems. Otherwise it's nothing.

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