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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;21(2):147-50.

Differences in heart rate variability between depressed and non-depressed elderly.

Author information

1
Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether older primary care patients with a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) have lower heart rate variability (HRV) compared to non-depressed patients. HRV is a measure of cardiac autonomic functioning.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional comparison of 136 elderly persons with MDD and 136 non-depressed controls (matched for age and gender) recruited in family practices in the Netherlands. Depression was determined according to the DSM-IV criteria using the PRIME-MD. HRV was measured with an electrocardiogram (ECG) during a 5-minute supine rest.

RESULTS:

Multivariate analyses showed statistically significant decrease in HRV in MDD patients compared with controls.

CONCLUSION:

Older primary care patients with MDD have a reduced HRV. This may explain why depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality.

PMID:
16416460
DOI:
10.1002/gps.1439
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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