Relations Between Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and T Wave Abnormalities in Subjects Without Clinically-Apparent Cardiovascular Disease (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA])

Whang, William; Peacock, James; Soliman, Elsayed Z.; Alcantara, Carmela; Nazarian, Saman; Shah, Amit J.; Davidson, Karina W.; Shea, Steven J. C.; Muntner, Paul; Shimbo, Daichi

The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that depression and anxiety are associated with electrocardiographic (ECG) repolarization abnormalities in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a cohort free of symptomatic cardiovascular disease. Depressive symptoms were assessed by using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and trait anxiety symptoms by using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; both were categorized according to uppermost quartile. T-wave inversions in ECG leads other than V1 to V3 were obtained from electrocardiograms obtained at rest during the baseline examination. Participants with major intraventricular conduction abnormalities and those taking antiarrhythmics, antidepressants, and/or antipsychotics were excluded. Logistic regression models were estimated with multivariable adjustment for traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Among 5,906 participants, elevated depressive symptoms were associated with increased odds of T-wave inversion after multivariable adjustment (odds ratio 2.02, 95% confidence interval 1.33 to 3.06, p = 0.001), whereas greater trait anxiety was associated with reduced odds of T-wave inversion (odds ratio 0.47, 95% confidence interval 0.29 to 0.77, p = 0.003). The divergent associations of depressive symptoms and trait anxiety with ECG T-wave inversions were similar in men and women, and these associations were present across the racial and ethnic subgroups (non-Hispanic white, African-American, Hispanic, and Chinese). In conclusion, symptoms of depression and anxiety were independently yet oppositely associated with ECG T-wave inversions. Negative emotions may have a differential impact on cardiovascular mortality through unique relations with cardiac repolarization.


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Also Published In

American Journal of Cardiology

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Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Social Work
Published Here
May 17, 2016