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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-47

The influence of negative mood on heart rate complexity measures and baroreflex sensitivity in healthy subjects


1 Department of Psychiatry, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany,
2 Medical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Applied Sciences, Jena, Germany,
3 Medical School, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada,
4 Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India,
5 Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, USA and University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada,

Correspondence Address:
Karl-Jurgen Bar
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Jena, Philosophenweg 3, 07743, Jena, Germany

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DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.58894

PMID: 20174517

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Background: Decreased cardiac vagal function is linked with increased cardiac mortality and depression is associated with decreased heart rate variability. We have previously shown that the Mood Induction Procedure (MIP) in healthy subjects alters pain perception and thalamic activity during pain perception. Aim: To study the effect of negative emotion on heart rate variability and complexity measures as well as on baroreceptor sensitivity, as these parameters reflect cardiac autonomic function. Patients and Methods: We studied 20 healthy female controls before and after neutral MIP and 20 healthy female subjects before and after negative MIP. We investigated measures of valence of mood, heart rate variability and complexity and the baroreceptor sensitivity index. Results: While there was a significant difference in the valence of mood between the neutral and the negative effect condition, there were no significant differences in any of the heart rate or baroreceptor sensitivity measures between the two groups. Conclusions: Our findings did not show any significant influence of acute negative MIP on heart rate variability and complexity measures and baroreceptor sensitivity, even though depressive disorder and stress are associated with decreased heart rate variability. These findings are discussed in the context of clinical depression and anxiety and the increased risk for cardiac mortality. In contrast to the presented results here, we have previously shown that MIP in healthy subjects alters pain perception and thalamic activity.



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