Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the
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In the present work, we propose a discrete model to the characterization of heart rate variability (HRV) complexity in the aging process of healthy subjects. We apply the Shannon entropy on the basis of an alternative way to probability calculation and to define a new index taking into consideration the transition probability that is related to the physiological complexity of the system. Our results suggest that in the aging process the capability response decreases according to the reduction of the physiological complexity. In the oldest group, an alternative mechanism emerges to compensate for this lack of capability; however, this effect does not increase the physiological complexity. Concomitantly, we provide some physiological explanation for our results.