(HealthDay News) — Depression and anxiety are independently, yet oppositely, associated with electrocardiographic (ECG) T-wave inversions, according to a study published in the December 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

William Whang, MD, from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,906 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a cohort free of symptomatic cardiovascular disease. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to assess depression, while trait anxiety symptoms were assessed with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. ECGs were obtained at rest during the baseline examination.

The researchers found that elevated depressive symptoms were associated with increased odds of T-wave inversion, after multivariable adjustment (odds ratio, 2.02; P=0.001), while greater trait anxiety was associated with reduced odds of T-wave inversion (odds ratio, 0.47; P=0.003). The results were similar in both men and women, as well as across racial and ethnic subgroups (non-Hispanic white, African-American, Hispanic, and Chinese).

“Negative emotions may have a differential impact on cardiovascular mortality through unique relations with cardiac repolarization,” the authors write.

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