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Cardiac Autonomic Function in Midlife Women

Menopause; ePub 2018 Jun 18; Fu, et al

Midlife women with increased anxiety and depressive symptoms may have an unfavorable cardiac autonomic profile with potential implications for their overall cardiovascular (CV) risk, a recent study suggests. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were evaluated by validated self-administered questionnaires among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women in a randomized trial of slow-paced respiration for hot flashes. Pre-ejection period (PEP) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), were measured at baseline and 12 weeks using impedance cardiography and electrocardiography. Researchers found:

  • Among 121 participants, greater state anxiety was associated with shorter PEP, reflecting higher sympathetic activity.
  • Greater trait anxiety and cognitive anxiety were associated with lower RSA, reflecting decreased parasympathetic activity.
  • Greater depressive symptoms were associated with lower RSA.

Citation:

Fu P, Gibson CJ, Mendes WB, Schembri M, Huang AJ. Anxiety, depressive symptoms, and cardiac autonomic function in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes: a brief report. [Published online ahead of print June 18, 2018]. Menopause. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001153.

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