Long-range anticorrelations and non-Gaussian behavior of the heartbeat

C. K. Peng, J. Mietus, J. M. Hausdorff, S. Havlin, H. E. Stanley, A. L. Goldberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

913 Scopus citations


We find that the successive increments in the cardiac beat-to-beat interals of healthy subjects display scale-invariant, long-range anticorrelations (up to 104 heart beats). Furthermore, we find that the histogram for the heartbeat intervals increments is well described by a Lévy stable distribution. For a group of subjects with severe heart disease, we find that the distribution is unchanged, but the long-range correlations vanish. Therefore, the different scaling behavior in health and disease must relate to the underlying dynamics of the heartbeat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1346
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


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