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Health Psychol. 2017 Jan;36(1):73-81. doi: 10.1037/hea0000397. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

Vagally-mediated heart rate variability and indices of well-being: Results of a nationally representative study.

Author information

1
Division of Behavioral Medicine.
2
Department of Psychology, Barnard College.
3
Center for Population and Health, Georgetown University.
4
Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
6
Department of Psychology, Northwestern University.
7
New York State Psychiatric Institute.
8
Division of Geriatrics, University of California at Los Angeles.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

High frequency (HF) heart rate variability (HRV) has long been accepted as an index of cardiac vagal control. Recent studies report relationships between HF-HRV and indices of positive and negative affect, personality traits and well-being but these studies generally are based on small and selective samples.

METHOD:

These relationships were examined using data from 967 participants in the second Midlife in the U.S. (MIDUS II) study. Participants completed survey questionnaires on well-being and affect. HF-HRV was measured at rest. A hierarchical series of regression analyses examined relationships between these various indices and HF-HRV before and after adjustment for relevant demographic and biomedical factors.

RESULTS:

Significant inverse relationships were found only between indices of negative affect and HF-HRV. Relationships between indices of psychological and hedonic well-being and positive affect failed to reach significance.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings raise questions about relationships between cardiac parasympathetic modulation, emotion regulation, and indices of well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record

PMID:
27570892
PMCID:
PMC5209294
DOI:
10.1037/hea0000397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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