Anxiety and Cardiovascular Autonomic Control

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00005471
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 26, 2000
Last Update Posted : March 16, 2016
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Brief Summary:
To evaluate the hypothesis that chronic anxiety and/or anxiety disorders resulted in hyperkinetic cardiovascular autonomic regulation, often associated with increased coronary risk.

Condition or disease
Cardiovascular Diseases Heart Diseases

Detailed Description:


Prospective epidemiologic data indicate a strong relationship of chronic anxiety and/or anxiety disorders to risk of sudden cardiac death. Other studies have shown that cardiac autonomic mechanisms are altered among stably anxious individuals in the direction of reduced parasympathetic and elevated sympathetic control. The latter investigations, however, have been based on very small clinic samples and have been incomplete in their assessment of cardiovascular regulation in anxiety.

This investigation was the first large-scale population-based research examining the cardiovascular physiology of anxiety, and helped to increase understanding of the reported association between anxiety and sudden cardiac death. This study also helped to identify groups in the general population at increased risk of sudden death.


The study used an ongoing well-characterized cohort, the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS), to recruit middle-aged and older community-dwelling men and women into the study. Using a variety of validated psychological and psychiatric screening instruments--including the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Crown-Crisp Index--the study population was characterized in terms of symptoms of anxiety and diagnosis of anxiety disorders. Cardiovascular autonomic control was then assessed among anxious and non-anxious individuals using non-invasive time-domain and power-spectral measures of heart rate and blood pressure variability. Cardiac output, total peripheral resistance, and end-tidal pCO2 were simultaneously assessed.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.

Study Type : Observational
Study Start Date : September 1996
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2001

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00005471

Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
OverallOfficial: David Sparrow Brigham and Women's Hospital