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Invisible Waves, Visible Effects: How Radiofrequency Fields Influence Rabbit Heart Rates


This groundbreaking study, conducted by Jakub Misek and colleagues, explores the impact of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) on heart rate variability (HRV) in rabbits. The study’s novelty lies in its focus on intensities only slightly exceeding occupational limits, offering insights into the potential health implications of RF EMF exposure.


With the proliferation of wireless technology and cell phone usage, concerns about the health effects of RF EMF exposure have escalated. This study primarily investigates how RF EMF influences HRV, a crucial indicator of cardiovascular health.


  • Study Group: 21 New Zealand white rabbits, divided into two groups, were used.
  • Exposure Protocol: Group 1 was exposed to device-generated RF EMF (1788 MHz, 160 V/m) without anesthesia. Group 2 experienced real RF EMF signals from mobile base stations (1805 – 1870 MHz, 160 V/m) under anesthesia.
  • HRV Analysis: Various HRV parameters were analyzed using ECG recordings, focusing on time domain and spectral HRV analysis.


  • Group 1 Findings: Significant increases in rMSSD and HF-HRV, indicating enhanced vagal activity, were observed. This suggests a shift towards parasympathetic nervous system dominance.
  • Group 2 Findings: Notable prolongation of RR intervals, indicating a lower heart rate, was seen. Increased rMSSD and HF-HRV values were also recorded.
  • Temperature Changes: A notable temperature rise was observed in Group 1, highlighting the thermal effects of RF EMF exposure.


The study demonstrates increased vagal activity in rabbits exposed to RF EMF, aligning with findings from other magnetic field studies on cardiovascular systems. The results suggest that RF EMF exposure could influence heart rate autonomic control, potentially increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias.


The study acknowledges limitations, including the lack of between-group comparisons and potential limitations in extrapolating findings to humans.


This research adds to the growing body of evidence that RF EMF exposure could significantly affect cardiac autonomic control. The findings underscore the need for further studies to understand the implications for human health, particularly concerning the potential for cardiac arrhythmias.


The study credits technical support from Jozef Vojtek and funding from various Slovak research agencies.

Ethical Statement

The study complied with European Guidelines on Laboratory Animal Care and was approved by the Ethical Board of the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine.

Study Source:


Several more published studies suggest that radiofrequency radiation increases the production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn may enhance lipid peroxidation and lead to oxidative damage. Radiofrequency radiation exposures can also cause changes to the permeability and function of the cell membrane, as well as changes in intracellular enzymes and DNA damage.

Table 1. Harm to the cardiovascular system is documented in research on laboratory animals exposed to radiofrequency radiation.

Cardiovascular effects Evidence from animal studies
Increased risk of heart tumors In rats, exposure to radiofrequency radiation was associated with an increased risk of malignant heart tumors.1, 2
Increased risk of cardiomyopathy Exposure to radiofrequency radiation among rats was associated with an increased risk of cardiomyopathy.2
Changes in heart rate Changes in heart rate associated with radiofrequency radiation exposure in rabbits3 and rats.4
Structural changes of the heart Changes to the heart structure and increased risk of mortality was associated with radiofrequency radiation exposure in chicken embryos.5

Prenatal exposure of rats to radiofrequency radiation was associated with structural changes and cell death in the heart tissue.6

Structural damage and death of myocardial cells was observed following radiofrequency radiation exposure in rats.7, 8

Changes in lipids in heart tissue Higher levels of lipids observed in the myocardial tissues of chicken embryos exposed to radiofrequency radiation during incubation.5
Increased risk of oxidative stress in heart tissue Radiofrequency radiation exposure in rats was associated with increased levels of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide, markers of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress, as well as decreased levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.9

Prenatal exposure of rats to radiofrequency radiation was associated with higher levels of malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, and catalase and a lower level of glutathione.6

Radiofrequency radiation exposure in rats was associated with decreased levels of malondialdehyde levels, a marker of oxidative stress, and decreased xanthine oxidase and adenosine deaminase enzyme activities in the heart tissues.10

Changes in blood pressure and heart rate variability Radiofrequency radiation exposure in rats was associated with increased systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure; decreased heart rate variability, increased total cholesterol and higher heart nitric oxide levels.4
Changes in cardiac energy metabolism Decreased adenosine triphosphate activity in myocardial tissues, decreased levels of antioxidative stress enzymes and increased levels of malondialdehyde observed in rats exposed to radiofrequency radiation. 7
Changes in heart function Exposure to radiofrequency radiation in laboratory mice was associated with increased creatine phosphokinase, a marker of cardiac function, and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.11
Changes in cardiac weight In rats, exposure to radiofrequency radiation was associated with increased weight of the whole heart as well as increases in systolic blood pressure.12

Table 2. Findings from epidemiological studies on people exposed to radiofrequency radiation in occupational or research settings. 

Cardiovascular effects Evidence from human studies
Increased cardiovascular risk factors Exposure to radiofrequency radiation among operators in broadcasting and television stations was associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols. Radiofrequency radiation exposure was associated with greater chance of becoming hypertensive and dyslipidemic among these workers.13
Changes in heart rate Occupational exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields was associated with lower heart rates among operators of radiofrequency plastic sealers compared to controls.14

Occupational exposure to radiofrequency radiation among workers at radio stations associated with changes of the diurnal rhythms of blood pressure and heart rate.15

Changes in heart rate variability reported among healthy volunteers exposed to radiofrequency radiation from cell phones.16,17,18


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