Decadal cycles in the human cardiovascular system

Franz Halberg, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume, Robert B. Sothern, Dewayne Hillman, Yoshihiko Watanabe, Erhard Haus, Othild Schwartzkopff, William R. Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Seven of the eight authors of this report each performed physiologic self-surveillance, some around the clock for decades. We here document the presence of long cycles (decadals, including circaundecennians) in the time structure of systolic (S) and diastolic (D) blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). Because of the non-stationary nature in time and space of these and other physiologic and environmental periodic components that, like the wind, can appear and disappear in a given or other geographic location at one or another time, they have been called "Aeolian". The nonlinear estimation of the uncertainties of the periods (τs) of two or more variables being compared has been used to determine whether these components are congruent or not, depending on whether their CIs (95% confidence intervals) overlap or not. Among others, congruence has been found for components with τs clustering around 10 years in us and around us. There is a selective assortment among individuals, variables and cycle characteristics (mean and circadian amplitude and acrophase). Apart from basic interest, like other non-photic solar signatures such as transyears with periods slightly longer than one year or about 33-year Brückner-Egeson-Lockyer (BEL) cycles, about 10-year and longer cycles present in 7 of 7 self-monitoring individuals are of interest in the diagnosis of Vascular Variability Anomalies (VVAs), including MESOR-hypertension, and others. Some of the other VVAs, such as a circadian over swing, i.e., CHAT (Circadian Hyper-Amplitude-Tension), or an excessive pulse pressure, based on repeated 7-day around-the-clock records, can represent a risk of severe cardiovascular events, greater than that of a high BP. The differential diagnosis of physiologic cycles, infradians (components with a τ longer than 28 hours) as well as circadians awaits the collection of reference values for the infradian parameters of the cycles described herein. Just as in strokeprone spontaneously hypertensive rats during the weeks after weaning CHAT precedes an elevation of the BP MESOR, a decadal over swing seems to precede the occurrence of high BP in two of the subjects here examined. Only around-the-clock monitoring in health for the collection of reference values will allow on their basis the differential diagnosis of the onsets of a circadian versus a circadecadal over swing in BP and the specification whether, and if so, when to initiate hypotensive non-drug or drug treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-287
Number of pages25
JournalWorld Heart Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Circadecadals
  • Circaundecennians
  • Cosmos
  • Heart rate


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