Pattern of Heart Rate Variability in Somatoform Disorder and Its Association with Anxiety level: An Analytical Study
Keywords:: Somatoform disorder, Heart Rate variability. Anxiety level, Sympathetic and parasympathetic functions.
Background: Somatoform disorder (SD), nowadays considered as the most frequent psychiatric diagnosis in
general practice has strong association with anxiety. Though there are a handful of studies showing heart Rate
variability (HRV) in SD patients, as such no studies according to author’s knowledge had been addressed to the
anxiety component hidden in the SD patients applying HRV tests so far.
Aims: Aim of the current study was assess the presence and extent of Heart rate variability in SD patients and to
find out it’s possible relationship with their anxiety level.
Materials and Methods: An analytical observational cross-sectional study was done among fifty newly diagnosed
somatoform disorder patients of eighteen to forty years age attending Psychiatry OPD and fifty age and sex
matched healthy control. After assessing their anxiety level using State Trait Anxiety Inventory, Short term Heart
rate Variability tests were performed. Appropriate Statistical tests were applied using SPSS 20 version.
Results: The SD patients showed reduced heart rate variability as SDNN and RMSDD were less, LF and LF/HF
ratio were more in them than controls and significant differences were there. Both SAS and TAS scores were more
in cases and there was positive correlation of TAS score with LF and LF/HF ratios.
Conclusions: The results of this study actually set an alarm for controlling their symptoms as well as their hidden
anxiety underneath, as reduced HRV poses the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and hidden anxiety has
influence on heart rate variability.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.