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This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled replication of a study that we previously conducted in Colorado with 25 subjects designed to test the effect of radio frequency radiation (RFR) generated by the base station of a cordless phone on heart rate variability (HRV). In this study, we analyzed the response of 69 subjects between the ages of 26 and 80 in both Canada and the USA. Subjects were exposed to radiation for 3-min intervals generated by a 2.4-GHz cordless phone base station (3–8 microW/cm2). Prior to provocation we conducted an orthostatic test to assess the state of adrenal exhaustion, which interferes with a person’s ability to mount a response to a stressor. A few participants had a severe reaction to the RFR with an increase in heart rate and altered HRV indicative of an alarm response to stress. Based on the HRV analyses of the 69 subjects, 7% were classiﬁed as being “moderately to very sensitive”, 29% were “little to moderately sensitive”, 30% were “not to a little sensitive” and 6% were “unknown”. These results are not psychosomatic and are not due to electromagnetic interference. Twenty-ﬁve percent of the subjects’ self-proclaimed sensitivity corresponded to that based on the HRV analysis, while 32% overestimated their sensitivity and 42% did not know whether or not they were electrically sensitive. Of the 39 participants who claimed to experience some electrical hypersensitivity, 36% claimed they also reacted to a cordless phone and experienced heart symptoms and, of these, 64% were classiﬁed as having some degree of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) based on their HRV response. Novel ﬁndings include documentation of a delayed response to radiation. This protocol underestimates the reaction to electromagnetic radiation and may provide a false negative for those with a delayed reaction and/or with adrenal exhaustion. Orthostatic HRV testing combined with provocation testing may provide a useful diagnostic tool for some sufferers of EHS when they are exposed to electromagnetic radiation. It can be used to confirm EHS but not to reject EHS as a diagnosis since not everyone with EHS has an ANS reaction to electromagnetic radiation.
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