Article

Heart rate variability study of childhood anxiety disorders

Consultant Psychiatrist, A Beautiful Mind Clinic, New Delhi, India.
Journal of cardiovascular disease research 04/2011; 2(2):115-22. DOI: 10.4103/0975-3583.83040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The current study aims at assessment of heart rate variability among children and adolescents with childhood anxiety disorder, using the case-control design.
The study was carried out at a tertiary care multispecialty hospital. It included 34 children and adolescents with diagnosis of childhood anxiety disorder, in the age range of eight to eighteen years, and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Heart-rate variability was studied using the standard protocol.
Significantly reduced variability of the heart rate was observed in both the time as well as frequency domains in the disorder group as compared to the control group. These findings indicate decreases in the sympathetic and parasympathetic activity in the disorder group, thus representing diminished physiological variability at rest.
The notion of autonomic inflexibility, as seen in the current study, has important implications for stability in biological systems. The loss of variability in the physiological systems in general, and in the cardiovascular system in particular, has an association with a number of diseases and dysfunctions.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, Mar 08, 2014
  • Source
    • "Similarly, restricted vagal flexibility was found in anxious children (Greaves-Lord et al., 2010; Monk et al., 2001). Also, elevated HR levels were reported by studies on children with anxiety disorders (Henje Blom et al., 2010; Sharma et al., 2011; Bakker et al., 2009; Yeragani et al., 2001). In another study, children with SP showed chronically elevated HR levels throughout the whole laboratory session, suggesting that these patients might have a more generalized autonomic hyperreactivity (Krämer et al., 2012, Kossowsky et al. (2012) reported that children with Contents lists available at ScienceDirect journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/psychres "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is suggested that salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) may be a marker of sympathoadrenal medullary system activity. Thus, it can be a possible relationship sAA and anxiety disorders. The aim of this study is to investigate sAA in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and healthy controls. Thirty drug-free youths, aged 8-16 years, who were diagnosed as any anxiety disorders and 36 healthy controls with similar socio-demographic characteristics were included in this study. The sAA was found to be significantly increased in anxiety group compared to control group. However, there was no correlation between sAA and any anxiety scores of the scales. Present study suggested that anxiety disorders in youths may be associated with increased autonomic activity.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
  • Source
    • "Contrary to the first hypothesis, no differences at baseline in HR and RSA between anxious and nonanxious children were found. This stands in contrast to some previous studies (Krämer et al., 2012; Monk et al., 2001; Schmitz et al., 2011; Sharma et al., 2011a), however, many of these studies also reported higher levels of state anxiety in anxious versus nonanxious children (Krämer et al., 2012; Schmitz et al., 2011). Although no measure of state anxiety was obtained during the baseline condition in the present study, there was a long acclimation period (approximately 45 min). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Psychophysiological theories suggest that individuals with anxiety disorders may evidence inflexibility in their autonomic activity at rest and when responding to stressors. In addition, theories of social anxiety disorder, in particular, highlight the importance of physical symptoms. Research on autonomic activity in childhood (social) anxiety disorders, however, is scarce and has produced inconsistent findings, possibly because of methodological limitations. The present study aimed to account for limitations of previous studies and measured respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and heart rate (HR) using Actiheart heart rate monitors and software (Version 4) during rest and in response to a social and a non-social stressor in 60 anxious (30 socially anxious and 30 'other' anxious), and 30 nonanxious sex-and age-matched 7-12 year olds. In addition, the effect of state anxiety during the tasks was explored. No group differences at rest or in response to stress were found. Importantly, however, with increases in state anxiety, all children, regardless of their anxiety diagnoses showed less autonomic responding (i.e., less change in HR and RSA from baseline in response to task) and took longer to recover once the stressor had passed. This study focused primarily on parasympathetic arousal and lacked measures of sympathetic arousal. The findings suggest that childhood anxiety disorders may not be characterized by inflexible autonomic responding, and that previous findings to the contrary may have been the result of differences in subjective anxiety between anxious and nonanxious groups during the tasks, rather than a function of chronic autonomic dysregulation. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Affective Disorders
  • Source

    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Journal of Clinical and Experimental Cardiology
Show more