Pattern of Heart Rate Variability in Somatoform Disorder and Its Association with Anxiety level: An Analytical Study


  • Krishna Laskar
  • Sengupta
  • Writtika Chattaraj
  • Gautam Kumar Bandyopadhyay
  • Sukanta Sen



: 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.

Author Biographies

  • Krishna Laskar

    Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay Govt. Medical College
    and Hospital, Uluberia, Dist Howrah

  • Sengupta

    Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Midnapore Medical College, Vidyasagar Road, Paschim Medinipur, Midnapore,

  • Writtika Chattaraj

    Assistant Professor, Departmentof Physiology, Diamond Harbour Government Medical College & Hospital, Harindanga, Newtown,Diamond Harbour, South 24 Parganas, W.B.

  • Gautam Kumar Bandyopadhyay

    Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical College Kolkata, College St, College Square, Kolkata

  • Sukanta Sen

    Professor & Head, Department of Pharmacology, ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Banbishnupur, Purba Medinipur, Haldia, West Bengal, India




How to Cite

Pattern of Heart Rate Variability in Somatoform Disorder and Its Association with Anxiety level: An Analytical Study. (2023). Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, 14(3), 127-134.