Pulse lineResearch With Heart Logo

Association of Psychosocial Factors With Short-Term Resting Heart Rate Variability: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

TitleAssociation of Psychosocial Factors With Short-Term Resting Heart Rate Variability: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsShah AS, Alonso A, Whitsel EA, Soliman EZ, Vaccarino V, Shah AJ
JournalJ Am Heart Assoc
Volume10
Issue5
Paginatione017172
Date Published2021 Feb
ISSN2047-9980
Abstract

Background Psychosocial factors predict heart disease risk, but our understanding of underlying mechanisms is limited. We sought to evaluate the physiologic correlates of psychosocial factors by measuring their relationships with heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of autonomic health, in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study. We hypothesize that increased psychosocial stress associates with lower HRV. Methods and Results We studied 9331 participants in ARIC with short-term HRV data at visits 2 and 4. The mean (SD) age was 54.4 (5.7) years, 55% were women, and 25% were Black. Psychosocial factors included: (1) vital exhaustion (VE), (2) anger proneness, a personality trait, and (3) perceived social support. Linear models adjusted for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Low frequency HRV (ln ms) was significantly lower in the highest versus lowest quartiles of VE (B=-0.14, 95% CI, -0.24 to -0.05). When comparing this effect to age (B=-0.04, 95% CI, -0.05 to -0.04), the difference was equivalent to 3.8 years of accelerated aging. Perceived social support associated with lower time-domain HRV. High VE (versus low VE) also associated with greater decreases in low frequency over time, and both anger and VE associated with greater increases in resting heart rate over time. Survival analyses were performed with Cox models, and no evidence was found that HRV explains the excess risk found with high VE and low perceived social support. Conclusions Vital exhaustion, and to a lesser extent anger and social support, were associated with worse autonomic function and greater adverse changes over time.

DOI10.1161/JAHA.120.017172
Alternate JournalJ Am Heart Assoc
PubMed ID33631952
Grant ListK24 HL148521 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States