Happiness and stress alter susceptibility to cardiac events in long QT syndrome

Richard D Lane, Harry T. Reis, Derick R. Peterson, Wojciech Zareba, Arthur J. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: We sought to determine whether the circumstances preceding an arrhythmic event differed from those preceding a prior control occasion in patients with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), a well-characterized genetic disorder that puts affected individuals at risk for sudden cardiac death. Methods: Thirty-eight patients (89% female) with LQTS completed a "case-crossover interview" in which each patient served as his/her own control by reporting on circumstances preceding an arrhythmic event (syncope, aborted cardiac arrest, or defibrillator discharge) and preceding a control occasion (the next-to-last birthday). On average the interview was conducted 17 months after the cardiac event and control occasion. Results: During the 24-hour period preceding the cardiac event compared to the day before the control occasion, psychological stress was elevated, peak happiness was reduced, and peak exertion was not significantly different. Rated for the 6-month intervals preceding the event and control occasions, none of these three variables was significantly associated with events. Conclusions: Happiness is associated with a reduction in the 24-hour risk of cardiac events in patients with LQTS, with stress having an opposite effect. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that positive emotion may have a protective effect on life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. This study lends further support to the role of emotions in influencing cardiac events in arrhythmia-prone patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Fingerprint

Long QT Syndrome
Happiness
Cardiac Arrhythmias
Emotions
Interviews
Inborn Genetic Diseases
Defibrillators
Sudden Cardiac Death
Syncope
Heart Arrest
Psychological Stress

Keywords

  • Happiness
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Resilience
  • Stress
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Happiness and stress alter susceptibility to cardiac events in long QT syndrome. / Lane, Richard D; Reis, Harry T.; Peterson, Derick R.; Zareba, Wojciech; Moss, Arthur J.

In: Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 04.2009, p. 193-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lane, Richard D ; Reis, Harry T. ; Peterson, Derick R. ; Zareba, Wojciech ; Moss, Arthur J. / Happiness and stress alter susceptibility to cardiac events in long QT syndrome. In: Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology. 2009 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 193-200.
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