Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Twin study finds possible connection between depression, heart disease

09.03.2004


Depression is a recognized risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and, by studying pairs of twins, researchers from Emory and Yale believe they have found a mechanism that explains this link. In research announced today at the American College of Cardiology’s 53rd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, the scientists say they found a decrease in heart rate variability (HRV) in those twins who were depressed as compared to their non-depressed siblings.



The scientists studied 50 pairs of male twins between the ages of 47 and 57 who were free of symptomatic CHD. Twenty-four hour ambulatory electrocardiograms (ECGs) of these research subjects were analyzed and depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory. The lifetime history of major depression of each man was also assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for Psychiatry Disorders .

"Within each pair of twins we studied, HRV parameters were strongly related with the severity of depressive symptoms. A lifetime history of major depression was related to HRV only in presence of current depressive symptoms -- but people with depressive symptoms had decreased HRV also in absence of a lifetime history of major depression. These findings are important because decreased HRV is a heart disease risk factor," says Emory Heart Center cardiologist Viola Vaccarino MD, Ph.D., lead author of the study. "And these results are even more remarkable for the fact that they are derived from twin study design, which is semi-experimental and allows tight control for extraneous factors. "


She explains that HRV reflects the beat-to-beat fluctuations in heart rate noted on the EKG that are governed by the autonomic nervous system ( the portion of the nervous system that controls the body’s visceral functions, including action of the heart). "Autonomic dysfunction, as reflected by decreased HRV, is a plausible mechanism linking depression to CHD because it can raise the risk of arrhythmias and sudden death," Dr. Vaccarino says.

She adds that the results of the twin study are important not only because they provide an explanation for how depression increases CHD risk in persons without CHD initially, but also because they underscore the clinical significance of minor depression in addition to major depression. "The data suggest that treatment of clinical depression, and perhaps also minor forms of depression, should reduce the risk of CHD via normalization of HRV," Dr. Vaccarino states. "Hopefully, there will be future clinical trials to test this idea in a controlled, randomized fashion. "


Other members of the research team include Rachel Lampert MD and Forrester Lee MD of the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, J. Douglas Bremner MD, Jerome L. Abramson PhD, Nancy Murrah RN, Nadeem Afzal MD, and Faiz Cheema MD of the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, and Jack Goldberg PhD, of the Seattle VA ERIC/VET Registry, Seattle, WA.

Media Contacts:
Sherry Baker, 404-377-1398, emoryheartnews@aol.com
Kathi Baker, 404-727-9371, kobaker@emory.edu
Janet Christenbury, 404-727-8599, jmchris@emory.edu

The study was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Emory Heart Center is comprised of all cardiac services and research at Emory University Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital Carlyle Fraser Heart Center, the Andreas Gruentzig Cardiovascular Center of Emory University and the Emory Clinic. Ranked among the nation’s top ten heart centers by U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey, the Emory Heart Center has a rich history of excellence in all areas of cardiology and cardiac surgery --including education, research and patient care. It is internationally recognized as one of the birthplaces of modern interventional cardiology and was the site of the first coronary stent implantation in the United States, the only single site randomized comparison of angioplasty and bypass surgery and pioneering work in vascular brachytherapy.

Sherry Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting eruptions using satellites and math

28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>