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Heart Rate Profiles During Sleep as a Biomarker of Depression

Sleep-derived heart rate patterns could act as an objective biomarker of depression when it co-occurs with sleep disturbances, a new study found. Researchers assessed the validity of an algorithm using patterns of heart rate changes during sleep to discriminate between individuals with depression and healthy controls. A heart rate profiling algorithm was modeled using machine-learning based on 1,203 polysomnograms from individuals with depression referred to a sleep clinic for the assessment of sleep abnormalities, including insomnia, excessive daytime fatigue, and sleep-related breathing disturbances (n=664) and mentally healthy controls (n=529). The final algorithm was tested on a distinct sample (n=174) to categorize each individual as depressed or not depressed. Among the findings:

  • The algorithms had an overall classification accuracy of 79.9%
  • The algorithm remained highly sensitive across subgroups stratified by age, sex, depression severity, comorbid psychiatric illness, cardiovascular disease, ad smoking status.

Citation:

Saad M, et al. Using heart rate profiles during sleep as a biomarker of depression. [Published online ahead of print June 7, 2019]. BMC Psychiatry. doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2152-1.