Hypo and hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system have been associated with chronic bowel inflammation diseases. We investigated the autonomic function in 11 patients with chronic ulcerative colitis (UC) and 17 healthy controls by means of cardiovascular autonomic tests and heart rate variability. Autonomic responses were normal in patients and controls. At rest, LF/HF ratios were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in chronic UC patients (2.4 ± 1.6) compared to controls (1.2 ± 1.0). Our results suggest a higher sympathetic tone at rest in patients with chronic UC.