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Keywords:

  • autonomic nervous system;
  • heart rate variability;
  • major depressive disorder;
  • test of variables of attention

Aim

The aim of this study was to identify major depressive disorder (MDD) based on heart rate variability (HRV) during tests of variables of attention (TOVA).

Method

Forty-five MDD patients without cardiovascular disease and 45 controls matched by age and gender participated in this study.

Results

Compared to the controls, the MDD group had lower resting HRV parameters, more omissions and variability and longer response times on TOVA, and failure of attention employment to decrease HRV.

Conclusions

The resting HRV parameters may provide easily measured, clinically useful ways to identify patients with MDD and to monitor their progress in treatment.