Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The relationship of trauma exposure to heart rate variability during wake and sleep in midlife women


Thurston, Rebecca C; Carson, Mary Y; Koenen, Karestan C; Chang, Yuefang; Matthews, Karen A; von Känel, Roland; Jennings, J Richard (2020). The relationship of trauma exposure to heart rate variability during wake and sleep in midlife women. Psychophysiology, 57(4):e13514.

Abstract

Traumatic experiences are common and linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, yet the mechanisms underlying these relationships is less well understood. Few studies have examined trauma exposure and its relation to autonomic influence over cardiac function, a potential pathway linking trauma exposure to CVD risk. Investigating autonomic influence over cardiac function during both wake and sleep is critical, given particular links of sleep autonomic function to cardiovascular health. Among midlife women, we tested whether trauma exposure would be related to lower high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), an index of vagal influence over cardiac function, during wake and sleep. Three hundred and one nonsmoking midlife women completed physical measures, a 24-hr electrocardiogram, actigraphy sleep measurement, and questionnaires about trauma (Brief Trauma Questionnaire), childhood abuse (Child Trauma Questionnaire [CTQ]), mood, demographics, and medical/psychiatric history. Relations between trauma and HF-HRV were assessed in linear mixed effects models adjusting for covariates (age, race, education, body mass index, blood pressure, psychiatric history, medication use, sleep, mood, childhood abuse history). Results indicated that most women had experienced trauma. Any trauma exposure as well as a greater number of traumatic experiences were associated with lower HF-HRV during wake and particularly during sleep. Relations were not accounted for by covariates. Among midlife women, trauma exposure was related to lower HF-HRV during wake and sleep. Trauma may have an important impact on vagal influence over the heart, particularly during sleep. Decreased vagal influence over cardiac function may be a key mechanism by which trauma is associated with CVD risk.

Abstract

Traumatic experiences are common and linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, yet the mechanisms underlying these relationships is less well understood. Few studies have examined trauma exposure and its relation to autonomic influence over cardiac function, a potential pathway linking trauma exposure to CVD risk. Investigating autonomic influence over cardiac function during both wake and sleep is critical, given particular links of sleep autonomic function to cardiovascular health. Among midlife women, we tested whether trauma exposure would be related to lower high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), an index of vagal influence over cardiac function, during wake and sleep. Three hundred and one nonsmoking midlife women completed physical measures, a 24-hr electrocardiogram, actigraphy sleep measurement, and questionnaires about trauma (Brief Trauma Questionnaire), childhood abuse (Child Trauma Questionnaire [CTQ]), mood, demographics, and medical/psychiatric history. Relations between trauma and HF-HRV were assessed in linear mixed effects models adjusting for covariates (age, race, education, body mass index, blood pressure, psychiatric history, medication use, sleep, mood, childhood abuse history). Results indicated that most women had experienced trauma. Any trauma exposure as well as a greater number of traumatic experiences were associated with lower HF-HRV during wake and particularly during sleep. Relations were not accounted for by covariates. Among midlife women, trauma exposure was related to lower HF-HRV during wake and sleep. Trauma may have an important impact on vagal influence over the heart, particularly during sleep. Decreased vagal influence over cardiac function may be a key mechanism by which trauma is associated with CVD risk.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
9 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 18 Feb 2020
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
Life Sciences > Developmental Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Physiology (medical), Physiology, Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:18 Feb 2020 15:34
Last Modified:23 May 2024 01:51
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0048-5772
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13514
PubMed ID:31850525