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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-24

A study of parasympathetic function in Manipuri patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder


1 Department of Physiology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Loukrakpam Nataraj Singh
Department of Physiology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.135220

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Background: Anxiety disorders are becoming a common mental health problem in our society. This could be attributed to the law and order situation, and the socioeconomic problems faced in our social setup. However, very few people are aware of the fact that these disorders, if not treated properly in time, can give rise to major cardiovascular health problems such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, and even coronary heart diseases. Reduction of the cardiac vagal tone (decreased parasympathetic function) is reported as a common associated finding. Objectives: To study involvement of autonomic nervous function, particularly parasympathetic, in Manipuri patients with anxiety disorders. Materials and Methods: Parasympathetic function was tested for 38 patients with anxiety disorders and 30 age- and sex-matched normal healthy subjects (control) by using a battery of three tests, that is:
  1. Heart rate variability (HRV) to deep and slow breathing (E:I).
  2. Heart rate response to postural change (30:15).
  3. Heart rate response to Valsalva maneuver (VR)
Results: The E:I value was significantly low (statistically) in anxiety patients compared to normal healthy subjects indicating reduced parasympathetic function. Conclusion: Patients with anxiety disorders are usually associated with lower cardiac vagal tone (reduced parasympathetic function) making them vulnerable to different cardiovascular disorders such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, and coronary heart diseases.


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