Reduced Heart Rate Variability May Be Biomarker of Depression Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology Professor, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Vaccarino

Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology
Professor, Department of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have shown that people with depression tend to have lower heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system dysregulation derived by monitoring the electrocardiogram over time, usually for 24 hours. Other literature, however, has pointed out that autonomic dysregulation (as indexed by reduced HRV) may also cause depression. Thus, the direction of the association between reduced HRV and depression still remains unclear. In addition, these two characteristics could share common pathophysiology, making shared familial background and genetic factors potential determinants of this association.
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Genetic Factors Control Heart Rate in Response to Exercise

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Patricia Munroe PhD Professor of Molecular Medicine William Harvey Research Institute Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London

Prof. Munroe

Prof. Patricia Munroe PhD
Professor of Molecular Medicine
William Harvey Research Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the years, it has become increasingly evident that impaired capacity to increase heart rate during exercise and reduce heart rate following exercise are important predictors of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. A person’s capability to regulate their heart rate is the result of complex interactions of biological systems, including the autonomic nervous and hormonal systems. Prior work has demonstrated that genetic factors significantly contribute to variations in resting heart rate among different individuals, but less was known about the genetic factors modulating the response of heart rate to exercise and recovery.

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Lower Heart Rate in Adolescent Boys Partly Explains Gender Gap in Crime

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Olivia Choy Ph.D. candidate in Criminology Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

Olivia Choy

Olivia Choy
Ph.D. candidate in Criminology
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The higher rate of offending among males compared to females is a well-documented phenomenon. However, little is known about what accounts for this gender difference. As males have been found to have significantly lower heart rates than females and lower resting heart rates have been associated with higher levels of offending, we tested whether low heart rate may partly account for the gender gap in crime.

Resting heart rate at age 11 accounted for 5.4% to 17.1% of the gender difference in crime at age 23.

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Low Resting Heart Rate in Men Linked to Crime, Accidents and Antisocial Behavior

Antti Latvala PhD Post-doctoral researcher Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Antti Latvala PhD

Post-doctoral researcher
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Latvala: Motivation for the study came from the fact that antisocial and aggressive behavior has been associated with lower resting heart rate in children and adolescents. Heart rate, being regulated by the autonomic nervous system, has been viewed as an indicator of stress responding or autonomic arousal, and the association has been hypothesized to indicate low levels of stress or a chronically low level of autonomic arousal in antisocial individuals. However, empirical evidence for such an association in adulthood has been very limited.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Latvala: We found that men with lower resting heart rate had an increased risk of violent and nonviolent criminality. Specifically, men in the lowest fifth of the heart rate distribution had an estimated 39% increased risk for violent criminality and a 25% increased risk for nonviolent crimes compared with men in the highest fifth. These are estimates after adjusting for physical, cardiovascular, cognitive and socioeconomic covariates. When we further adjusted for cardiorespiratory fitness, which was available in a subsample, the associations were even stronger.

In addition to the crime outcomes, we found that low resting heart rate predicted exposure to assaults and accidents, such as traffic crashes, falls and poisonings, in a very similar fashion.

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Faster Resting Heart Rate Linked To Metabolic Syndrome

Dr Weiguo Zhang, MD PhD Cardiovascular and Neurological Institute 6771 San Fernando, Irving, TX 75039, USAMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Weiguo Zhang, MD PhD
Cardiovascular and Neurological Institute
6771 San Fernando,
Irving, TX 75039, USA


Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Prof. ZhangHigher heart rate has emerged as a cardiovascular risk factor and is associated with higher mortality rate. However the mechanistic link between heart rate and mortality outcome in population has been missing.

The main findings of the present study in a relatively large population are two-fold: Firstly, there is a strong and positive association between resting heart rate and metabolic syndrome, which is defined when an adult has 3 of the following: obesity (waist circumference ≥90 cm for men or ≥80 for women)hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L)low plasma level of high-density lipoprotein <1.03 mmol/L for men or <1.30 mmol/L for women)hypertension (systolic blood pressure/ diastolic blood pressure≥130/85 mmHg or current use of antihypertensive medications); hyperglycemia (fast blood glucose ≥5.6 mmol/L or previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes or current use of hypoglycaemic agents or insulin).

Secondly and more importantly, those without metabolic syndrome but with higher resting heart rate will have greater risk in developing metabolic syndrome in the near future. As such, the findings from both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies provide evidence that resting heart rate is an independent risk factor for existing metabolic syndrome and a powerful predictor for its future incidence.
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Elevated Resting Heart Rate in Childhood Linked to Early Mortality

Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medical College Belfer Research Building New York, NY 10021MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology
Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medical College
Belfer Research Building New York, NY 10021

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study

Dr. Hartaigh: Elevated resting heart rate (RHR) during childhood and midlife are associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
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Elevated Resting Heart Rate and Mortality in Adults

Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging Weill Cornell Medical CollegeMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology
Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging
Weill Cornell Medical College


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Sustained elevations in resting heart rate measured longitudinally over the course of 6 years were strongly and independently associated with a greater risk of death from all causes in adults aged 65 years or older.
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