Although there are a number of publications dem-onstrating how depression increases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, there are few and contradictory publications regarding heart rate fluctuations and late potentials. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether heart rate fluctuations (HRF) and late ventricular potential values are different in patients with depression compared to those in normal individuals.
Methods: Thirty two untreated depressive patients having no associated clinical cardiovascular disease and 29 healthy individuals were recruited in the study. Beck′s depression inventory was used to determine patients with depression. Recordings were made with the Cardioscan digital ECG halter recorder. Heart rate fluctuations and late potential criteria were evaluated using a computer with Cardioscan software.
Results: There was a decrease in standard deviation of normal to normal intervals and its index (p= 0.001) and an increase in sympathetic tonus (p= 0.006) in depressive patients. No statistical significance in regard to the late ventricular potential values was determined between depressive patients and healthy individuals.
Conclusions: There was a decrease in some of the HRF parameters and an increase in sympathetic tonus in depressive patients, but late ventricular potentials were not different from those of healthy individuals.