Associations of depression severity with heart rate and heart rate variability in young adults across normative and clinical populations

Laura M. Lesnewich, Fiona N. Conway, Jennifer F. Buckman, Christopher J. Brush, Peter J. Ehmann, David Eddie, Ryan L. Olson, Brandon L. Alderman, Marsha E. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Limitations of current depression treatments may arise from a lack of knowledge about unique psychophysiological processes that contribute to depression across the full range of presentations. This study examined how individual variations in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) are related to depressive symptoms across normative and clinical populations in 152 young adults (aged 18–35 years). Moderating effects of sex and antidepressant medication status were considered. Electrocardiogram data were collected during “vanilla” baseline and in response to positive and negative emotional cues. Linear regressions and repeated-measures mixed models were used to assess the relationships between Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) scores, sex, antidepressant use, and cardiovascular outcomes. Baseline models yielded significant main effects of BDI-II and sex on HR and significant interactions between antidepressant medication status and BDI-II on HRV outcomes. The main effects of BDI-II and sex on HR were no longer significant after controlling for cardiorespiratory fitness. Participants who denied current antidepressant use (n = 137) exhibited a negative association and participants who endorsed current antidepressant (n = 15) use exhibited a positive association between BDI-II scores and HRV. Emotional reactivity models were largely non-significant with the exception of a significant main effect of antidepressant medication status on high-frequency HRV reactivity. Results indicated antidepressant medication use may moderate the relationship between depression severity and cardiovascular functioning, but this requires replication given the modest proportion of medicated individuals in this study. Overall, findings suggest cardiovascular processes and cardiorespiratory fitness are linked to depression symptomatology and may be important to consider in depression treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume142
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Fingerprint

Young Adult
Heart Rate
Depression
Antidepressive Agents
Population
Equipment and Supplies
Vanilla
Cues
Linear Models
Electrocardiography
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Antidepressant medications
  • Cardiovascular
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Mood
  • Sex differences

Cite this

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title = "Associations of depression severity with heart rate and heart rate variability in young adults across normative and clinical populations",
abstract = "Limitations of current depression treatments may arise from a lack of knowledge about unique psychophysiological processes that contribute to depression across the full range of presentations. This study examined how individual variations in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) are related to depressive symptoms across normative and clinical populations in 152 young adults (aged 18–35 years). Moderating effects of sex and antidepressant medication status were considered. Electrocardiogram data were collected during “vanilla” baseline and in response to positive and negative emotional cues. Linear regressions and repeated-measures mixed models were used to assess the relationships between Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) scores, sex, antidepressant use, and cardiovascular outcomes. Baseline models yielded significant main effects of BDI-II and sex on HR and significant interactions between antidepressant medication status and BDI-II on HRV outcomes. The main effects of BDI-II and sex on HR were no longer significant after controlling for cardiorespiratory fitness. Participants who denied current antidepressant use (n = 137) exhibited a negative association and participants who endorsed current antidepressant (n = 15) use exhibited a positive association between BDI-II scores and HRV. Emotional reactivity models were largely non-significant with the exception of a significant main effect of antidepressant medication status on high-frequency HRV reactivity. Results indicated antidepressant medication use may moderate the relationship between depression severity and cardiovascular functioning, but this requires replication given the modest proportion of medicated individuals in this study. Overall, findings suggest cardiovascular processes and cardiorespiratory fitness are linked to depression symptomatology and may be important to consider in depression treatment.",
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Associations of depression severity with heart rate and heart rate variability in young adults across normative and clinical populations. / Lesnewich, Laura M.; Conway, Fiona N.; Buckman, Jennifer F.; Brush, Christopher J.; Ehmann, Peter J.; Eddie, David; Olson, Ryan L.; Alderman, Brandon L.; Bates, Marsha E.

In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 142, 01.08.2019, p. 57-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Conway, Fiona N.

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AU - Alderman, Brandon L.

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