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Association between depression, pressure pain sensitivity, stress and autonomous nervous system function in stable ischemic heart disease

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Background: Depression and ischemic heart disease (IHD) are associated with persistent stress and autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction. The former can be measured by pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) of the sternum, and the latter by the PPS and systolic blood pressure (SBP) response to a tilt table test (TTT). Beta-blocker treatment reduces the efferent beta-adrenergic ANS function, and thus, the physiological stress response. Objective: To test the effect of beta-blockers on changes in depression score in patients with IHD, as well as the influence on persistent stress and ANS dysfunction. Methods: Three months of non-pharmacological intervention aiming at reducing PPS and depression score in patients with stable IHD. Beta-blocker users (N = 102) were compared with non-users (N = 75), with respect to signs of depression measured by the Major Depressive Inventory questionnaire (MDI), resting PPS, and PPS and SBP response to TTT. Results: MDI score decreased 30% in non-users (p = 0.005) compared to 4% (p > 0.1) among users (between- group p = 0.003; effect size = 0.4). Resting PPS decreased in both the groups. Among most vulnerable patients with MDI ≥ 15, reductions in MDI score and resting PPS score correlated in non-users, only (r = 0.69, p = 0.007). Reduction in resting PPS correlated with an increase in PPS and SBP response to TTT. Conclusions: Stress intervention in patients with IHD was anti-depressive in non-users, only. Similarly, the association between the reduction in depression, reduction in persistent stress, and restoration of ANS dysfunction was only seen in non-users, suggesting a central role of beta-adrenergic receptors in the association between these factors.
TidsskriftJournal of Behavioral and Brain Science
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)317-328
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 22 jul. 2016

ID: 49757492