Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world. Despite major strides made in the past decade regarding the treatment and prevention of heart disease, cardiac injury due to acute myocardial infarct (MI) remains a difficult and complicated problem to solve. When enough tissue damage occurs in the myocardium, the ability of the heart to circulate blood is reduced and the organ changes shape in a maladaptive attempt to compensate for its lack of pumping capacity, ultimately leading to an even greater lack of circulatory output known as heart failure. Such tissue damage begins for a great number of patients the downward spiral termed ‘heart failure’ - which culminates almost certainly at death.

At rest, the heart rate of healthy individuals exhibits spontaneous variation as a result of respiratory-driven neural modulation of sinus node function (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA). Heart rate variability...

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