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Relation between emotional distress and heart rate variability in patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Authors

  • Madelein T. Hoogwegt,

    1. CoRPS—Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Susanne S. Pedersen,

    Corresponding author
    1. CoRPS—Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Cardiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
    4. Institute of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
    • Address correspondence to: Susanne Pedersen, PhD, Tilburg University, Room P506, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands. E-mail: s.s.pedersen@tilburguniversity.edu

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  • Dominic A. M. J. Theuns,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Nina Kupper

    1. CoRPS—Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
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  • We would like to thank Agnes Muskens-Heemskerk for inclusion of the patients into the study and Simone Traa, Martha van den Berg, and Belinda de Lange for their help with data management. This research was supported with a VENI (451-05-001) grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and a VIDI (91710393) grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), The Hague, The Netherlands to SSP.

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between Type D personality, depression, and anxiety, and heart rate variability (HRV) in 64 patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). HRV was obtained via 24-h Holter monitoring, and 24-h, 30-min daytime rest and 30-min nighttime sleep HRV were analyzed. In adjusted analyses, significant associations (standard deviation of normal-to-normal [NN] intervals [SDNN]: p = .043; standard deviation of NN intervals over 5-min periods [SDANN]: p = .010) and a trend (HRV triangular index: p = .09) were found for Type D personality, and trends were found for depression (lower RMSSD: p = .10; lower pNN50: p = .09). During daytime rest, similar results were found for anxiety and depression. During sleep, only noteworthy adjusted associations were found for depression (lower root mean square of successive differences in NN intervals [RMSSD]: p = .06; lower pNN50: p = .043). A Benjamini-Hochberg correction for multiple testing led to reduction of the number of significant relationships, but there was still support for lower autonomic control patients with Type D personality and depression. Future research with larger sample sizes is warranted.

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