CS Weber

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany

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Publications (34)56.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. Aim of this study was to investigate short-term effects of espresso coffee on heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of vagal activity, in healthy habitual and non-habitual coffee consumers. Methods Seventy-seven healthy subjects (38 habitual and 39 non-habitual coffee consumers, 74% women, mean age 26.97 ± 6.88 years) took part in three laboratory sessions in a randomized order. In condition 1, subjects consumed espresso; in condition 2, subjects consumed decaffeinated espresso; and in condition 3, subjects consumed warm water. HRV and blood pressure were assessed at rest before and after ingestion of the respective beverage. Results HRV was significantly increased after consumption of caffeinated espresso, decaffeinated espresso, or water, indicating increased vagal activity in the course of the experiments. In the habitual coffee consumers, the increase in vagally mediated HRV was significantly lower after consumption of decaffeinated espresso compared to caffeinated espresso. Increases of systolic blood pressure were only found in the non-habitual consumers. Conclusion We found no evidence for specific short-term effects of caffeinated espresso on vagal activity in healthy subjects. Instead, consumption of decaffeinated espresso inhibited vagal activity in habitual consumers. This may be explained by an attempt of the organism to establish a sympathovagal equilibrium comparable to that after caffeine consumption. In the absence of caffeine-induced sympathetic activation, this may have been achieved by relative vagal withdrawal.
    Nutritional Neuroscience 04/2015; DOI:10.1179/1476830515Y.0000000018 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide, and potential effects on parasympathetic activity may hence have important health implications. Aim of the present study therefore was to investigate short-term effects of espresso coffee on heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of vagal activity, in healthy habitual and non-habitual coffee consumers. Methods: 77 healthy subjects (38 habitual and 39 non-habitual coffee consumers, 74% women, mean age 26.97±6.88 years) took part in three laboratory sessions in a randomized order. In condition 1, subjects consumed espresso, in condition 2, subjects consumed decaffeinated espresso, and in condition 3, subjects consumed warm water. HRV and blood pressure were assessed at rest before and after ingestion of the respective beverage. Results: HRV was significantly increased after consumption of caffeinated espresso, decaffeinated espresso or water, indicating increased vagal activity in the course of the experiments. In the habitual coffee consumers, the increase in vagally mediated HRV was significantly lower after consumption of decaffeinated espresso compared to caffeinated espresso. Increases of systolic blood pressure were only found in the non-habitual consumers. Conclusion: We found no evidence for specific short-term effects of caffeinated espresso on vagal activity in healthy subjects. Instead, consumption of decaffeinated espresso inhibited vagal activity in habitual consumers. This may be explained by an attempt of the organism to establish a sympathovagal equilibrium comparable to that after caffeine consumption. In the absence of caffeine-induced sympathetic activation, this may have been achieved by relative vagal withdrawal.
    Nutritional Neuroscience 03/2015; in press. · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Deutscher Kongress für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Berlin, Germany; 03/2015
  • 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting "From Cells to Community and Back" American Psychosomatic Society, Hyatt Regency Savannah, GA; 03/2015
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    ABSTRACT: Placebo effects on pain and other subjective parameters are well-established, but the evidence for placebo effects on autonomic functions is scarce. Our randomized-controlled trial aimed to investigate autonomic responses after a suggestive placebo intervention intended to increase or decrease blood pressure (BP). 92 healthy subjects inhaled a placebo spray with the prior suggestion that it contained an effective drug to either increase or decrease BP, or the information that a placebo was administered (controls). BP, heart rate, stroke volume, peripheral resistance, heart rate variability and skin conductance level were monitored 30min before and after placebo administration. The expected and the subjectively perceived drug effect were measured by means of visual analog scales. We found no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to BP, heart rate, stroke volume, total peripheral resistance and heart rate variability responses to the verbal suggestions. Skin conductance response was more pronounced in the BP decrease group compared with controls (p=0.04), but this finding might be due to chance, given the multiple tests. Within the total study sample, BP, total peripheral resistance, low frequency power of heart rate variability and skin conductance were significantly higher after the placebo spray independent of the associated suggestions. Subjects in the BP increase and BP decrease condition had higher ratings of the expected and the subjectively perceived drug effect compared with controls (all p<0.05). We found no evidence that specific verbal suggestions during placebo interventions affect BP in healthy subjects.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 07/2013; 75(1):32-5. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.03.011 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anorexia nervosa is a severe psychosomatic disease with somatic complications in the long-term course and a high mortality rate. Somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa have rarely been studied, but pose a challenge to clinical practitioners. We investigated somatic comorbidities in an inpatient cohort and compared somatically ill anorexic patients and patients without a somatic comorbidity. In order to evaluate the impact of somatic comorbidity for the long-term course of anorexia nervosa, we monitored survival in a long-term follow-up. One hundred and sixty-nine female inpatients with anorexia nervosa were treated at the Charité University Medical Centre, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, between 1979 and 2011. We conducted retrospective analyses using patient's medical and psychological records. Information on survival and mortality were required through the local registration office and was available for one hundred patients. The mean follow-up interval for this subgroup was m = 20.9 years (sd = 4.7, min = 13.3, max = 31.6, range = 18.3). We conducted survival analysis using cox regression and included somatic comorbidity in a multivariate model. N = 41 patients (24.3%) showed a somatic comorbidity, n = 13 patients (7.7%) showed somatic comorbidities related to anorexia nervosa and n = 26 patients (15.4%) showed somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa, n = 2 patients showed somatic complications related to other psychiatric disorders. Patients with a somatic comorbidity were significantly older (m = 29.5, sd = 10.3 vs m = 25.0, sd = 8.7; p = .006), showed a later anorexia nervosa onset (m = 24.8, sd = 9.9 vs. m = 18.6, sd = 5.1; p < .000) and a longer duration of treatment in our clinic (m = 66.6, sd = 50.3 vs. m = 50.0, sd = 47; p = .05) than inpatients without somatic comorbidity. Out of 100 patients, 9 patients (9%) had died, on average at age of m = 37 years (sd = 9.5). Mortality was more common among inpatients with somatic comorbidity (n = 6, 66.7%) than among inpatients without a somatic disease (n = 3, 33.3%; p = .03). Somatic comorbidity was a significant coefficient in a multivariate survival model (B = 2.32, p = .04). Somatic comorbidity seems to be an important factor for anorexia nervosa outcome and should be included in multivariate analyses on the long-term course of anorexia nervosa as an independent variable. Further investigations are needed in order to understand in which way anorexia nervosa and a somatic disease can interact.
    BioPsychoSocial Medicine 02/2012; 6(1):4. DOI:10.1186/1751-0759-6-4
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Depressive symptoms are highly relevant for the quality of life, health behavior, and prognosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). However, previous psychotherapy trials in depressed CAD patients produced small to moderate effects on depression, and null effects on cardiac events. In this multicentre psychotherapy trial, symptoms of depression are treated together with the Type D pattern (negative affectivity and social inhibition) in a stepwise approach. METHODS: Men and women (N=569, age 18-75 years) with any manifestation of CAD and depression scores ≥ 8 on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), will be randomized (allocation ratio 1:1) into the intervention or control group. Patients with severe heart failure, acutely life-threatening conditions, chronic inflammatory disease, severe depressive episodes or other severe mental illness are excluded. Both groups receive usual medical care. Patients in the intervention group receive three initial sessions of supportive individual psychotherapy. After re-evaluation of depression (weeks 4-8), patients with persisting symptoms receive an additional 25 sessions of combined psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral group therapy. The control group receives one psychosocial counseling session. Primary efficacy variable is the change of depressive symptoms (HADS) from baseline to 18 months. Secondary endpoints include cardiac events, remission of depressive disorder (SCID) and Type D pattern, health-related quality of life, cardiovascular risk profile, neuroendocrine and immunological activation, heart rate variability, and health care utilization, up to 24 months of follow-up (ISRCTN: 76240576; NCT00705965). Funded by the German Research Foundation.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 10/2011; 71(4):215-22. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.02.013 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2011; 61(02). DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1272456 · 1.02 Impact Factor
  • PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2011; 61(02). DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1272449 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anger has been implicated in the etiology of hypertensive disease. Trait anger has been linked to enhanced cardiovascular responsiveness. However, whether this association reflects differences in context appraisal or a general hyper-reactivity of the cardiovascular system remains unclear. We studied the cardiovascular response to acoustic startle probes in 76 healthy Caucasian males in different affective contices (pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant). All participants completed the State-Trait-Anger-Expression-Inventory (STAXI) by Spielberger and the results were analysed with stepwise regression analysis according to the anger scores and traditional risk factors for hypertension. Our study reveals differential modulation of the cardiovascular response to startle stimuli by affective pictures in the dimensions "valence" for heart rate and "arousal" for blood pressure. Anger-in was identified as the most important determinant for blood pressure responses in unpleasant context, while anger-out was associated with less cardiovascular activation in neutral context. This is the first study that relates trait anger to cardiovascular reactivity and affective reflex modulation in normotensive subjects. We could demonstrate an interaction of affective context and trait anger for cardiovascular (hyper-)reactivity. Increased cardiovascular reactivity for higher scores of anger-in in unpleasant context may indicate enhanced sympathetic reactivity and constitute a risk factor for the development of essential hypertension.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 12/2010; 79(3):364-70. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.12.004 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated associations between depressive symptoms and reduced heart rate variability (HRV) in women aged 30-65 years after an acute coronary event. Younger women have an increased mortality after myocardial infarction compared with men of similar age. Depression was hypothesized to contribute to the poor prognosis, possibly mediated by increased susceptibility to arrhythmias. The Stockholm Female Coronary Risk study comprised of 292 women aged 30-65 years who were consecutively admitted for myocardial infarction or unstable angina pectoris during a 3-year period. Depressive symptoms were assessed by means of a 9-item questionnaire. Women with no or only one depressive symptom were classified as low-depression individuals, those with two or more depressive symptoms as high-depression individuals. HRV data were calculated from 24-h ambulatory electrocardiographic recordings 3-6 months after the initial event. Reliable HRV data were obtained from 266 patients. Seventy women were low-depression individuals, and 196 women were high-depression individuals. In univariate analyses, the index of standard deviations of R-R intervals, very low-frequency power, low-frequency power and high-frequency power of HRV were lower in the high-depression individuals. After controlling for potential confounders (diabetes, hypertension, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and β-blocker medication), a significant difference between low and high-depression individuals was maintained for all indices except for high-frequency power. The presence of two or more depressive symptoms was associated with reduced HRV in a high-risk group of younger women after an acute coronary event.
    European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation: official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology 03/2010; 17(5):509-13. DOI:10.1097/HJR.0b013e328337b57b · 3.69 Impact Factor
  • PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2009; 59(02). DOI:10.1055/s-0029-1208248 · 1.02 Impact Factor
  • PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2009; 59(02). DOI:10.1055/s-0029-1208159 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Animal studies suggest that the pineal hormone melatonin influences basal stress hormone levels and dampens hormone reactivity to stress. We investigated whether melatonin also has a suppressive effect on stress-induced catecholamine and cortisol release in humans. As stress hormones affect memory processing, we further examined a possible accompanying modulation of memory function. Fifty healthy young men received a single oral dose of either 3 mg melatonin (n = 27) or placebo medication (n = 23). One hour later, they were exposed to a standardized psychosocial laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test). During stress, subjects encoded objects distributed in the test room, for which memory was assessed a day later ("memory encoding under stress"). Fifteen minutes following stress, memory retrieval for words learnt the day before was tested ("memory retrieval after stress"). Plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, salivary free cortisol levels and psychological responses (attention, wakefulness) were repeatedly measured before and after stress exposure. Melatonin specifically enhanced recognition memory accuracy of objects encoded under stress (p < 0.001). In contrast, 15 min after stress, when cortisol levels were highest, retrieval of memories acquired the day before was not influenced by melatonin. Moreover, melatonin did not influence stress-induced elevation of catecholamine and cortisol levels which in turn did not correlate with the effects of melatonin on memory. The findings point to a primary action of melatonin on central nervous stimulus processing under conditions of stress and possibly on memory consolidation and exclude any substantial suppressive action of the substance on hormonal stress responses.
    Psychopharmacology 10/2008; 202(4):663-72. DOI:10.1007/s00213-008-1344-z · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological parameters such as heightened anxiety and defensiveness are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Autonomic dysfunction is considered to be an important pathogenetic pathway. Little research has been done regarding potential links between emotional factors and salt sensitivity. The aim of the present study was to determine whether subjects with different levels of trait anxiety differ in the degree of salt sensitivity and autonomic reactivity to a mental stress task. Seventy-two young normotensive men were phenotyped for salt sensitivity and underwent a standardized mental stress test and psychological assessment. According to their trait anxiety test scores, they were classified as low-, moderate- or high-anxiety subjects. A measure of defensiveness was used to assess self-deceptive tendencies. Low-anxiety subjects displayed a higher degree of salt sensitivity compared to moderate- and high-anxiety subjects (P < 0.001), increased heart rate (HR) and electrodermal responses to the stressor compared to moderate-anxiety subjects (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05 respectively) and elevated levels of self-deception compared to moderate- and high-anxiety subjects (P < 0.001). Low-anxiety subjects were characterized by a higher degree of salt sensitivity and increased autonomic responsiveness. Defensiveness was also shown to be elevated in this group and might be the underlying psychological trait explaining these findings. Future research on the associations of anxiety and cardiovascular risk should implement measurement of defensiveness in order to identify these subjects at potential risk for cardiovascular disease despite self-reports of low anxiety.
    American Journal of Hypertension 10/2008; 21(12):1292-7. DOI:10.1038/ajh.2008.300 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Salt sensitivity (SS) represents a risk factor for essential hypertension, which has been related to enhanced cardiovascular stress reactivity possibly mediated by increased noradrenergic susceptibility. We investigated biophysiological responses to mental stress in salt-sensitive (ss) and salt-resistant (sr) subjects, hypothesizing lower heart rate variability (HRV) and higher cortisol in the ss. A total of 48 healthy normotensive Caucasian men (age 25.6+/-2.6, body mass index 22.9+/-2.3) were phenotyped for SS (defined as significant drop in mean arterial pressure>3 mm Hg under the low-salt diet) by a 2-week high- versus low-salt diet. Subjects underwent a standardized mental stress task with continuous cardiovascular monitoring before, during and after the test (Finapres; Ohmeda, Louisville, CO, USA). Blood samples were drawn to examine cortisol and catecholamines before, after and 20 min after stress. The task elicited significant increases of systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP) and heart rate (HR) and a significant decrease of HRV (all time effects P<0.0001). The ss subjects showed lower norepinephrine (NE) and higher cortisol, indicated by significant group effects (P=0.009 and 0.025, respectively). HR increased and HRV decreased more in the ss under the stress, shown by significant time by group interactions (P=0.045 and 0.003, respectively). The observation of a more pronounced HR rise coupled with a greater decrease of HRV in healthy ss men under the influence of brief mental stress confirms their enhanced physiological stress reactivity. The lower peripheral NE may represent an effort to compensate for increased noradrenergic receptor sensitivity. The enhanced cortisol levels are backed by recent genetic findings on HSD11B2 polymorphisms and may promote hypertension.
    Journal of Human Hypertension 06/2008; 22(6):423-31. DOI:10.1038/jhh.2008.11 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • M Rudat, C Weber, HC Deter
    PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2008; 58(02). DOI:10.1055/s-2008-1061606 · 1.02 Impact Factor
  • PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 02/2008; 58(02). DOI:10.1055/s-2008-1061552 · 1.02 Impact Factor
  • Psychosomatics 09/2007; 48(5):446-7. DOI:10.1176/appi.psy.48.5.446 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Patients with essential hypertension react more strongly to mental stress than normotensives. This may be related to the type of stress coping or to increased reactivity associated with the disease. The aim of our study was to examine whether patients with essential or secondary hypertension differ in their reaction to mental stress. Methods. Seventeen patients with essential hypertension (EH), 9 patients with renal hypertension (RH), and 22 normotensive controls (N) with no circulatory disorders were subjected to a psychophysiological examination under mental stress. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and electrodermal activity (EDA) were measured. Results. The two hypertensive groups differed in their BP reaction to mental stress from the control group but not from each other. The product of heart rate and systolic blood pressure during the matrix test was significantly higher in essential than renal hypertensives (EH median: 13344; RH median: 12154.5; p = 0.04). This also holds true for the number of spontaneous fluctuations of EDA in the resting phase after the experiment (EH. median: 3.2; RH. median: 1.3; p = 0.01). Conclusion. The results suggest that not only a high blood pressure level but also the sympathetic nervous tone are responsible for the blood pressure response to mental stress. Due to very different (perhaps psychosocially triggered) conditions, essential hypertension leads to a stronger cardiovascular reaction under mental stress than renal hypertension.
    Clinical and Experimental Hypertension 08/2007; 29(5):301-10. DOI:10.1080/10641960701500414 · 1.46 Impact Factor