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

M.T. Hoogwegt, S.S. Pedersen, D.A.M.J. Theuns, N. Kupper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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