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

Academic Article


  • The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that depression and anxiety are associated withelectrocardiographic (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 inECGleads other thanV1 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 ECGTwave 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 withECGT-wave inversions. Negative emotions may have a differential impact on cardiovascular mortality through unique relations with cardiac repolarization.
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    Author List

  • Whang W; Peacock J; Soliman EZ; Alcantara C; Nazarian S; Shah AJ; Davidson KW; Shea S; Muntner P; Shimbo D
  • Start Page

  • 1917
  • End Page

  • 1922
  • Volume

  • 114
  • Issue

  • 12