Research & Publications
Although psychologic stress and sudden cardiac death have been strongly correlated in epidemiological studies, the underlying physiologic link remains poorly understood. The ICD population allows evaluation of effects of mental stress on arrhythmia. Recent investigation has included evaluation of effects of mental stress on ventricular tachycardia as well as mechanisms and prognostic implications of this effect. Ongoing studies include emotional triggering of atrial fibrillation and the role of stress reactivity.
A second, related area of interest involves heart rate variability, a measurement of autonomic balance derived from ambulatory ECG monitoring. Heart rate variability can provide a measure of effects of acute or chronic stress. Previous investigations include a study of correlations of socioeconomic status and life stress with heart rate variability, and an ongoing study of the predictive value of heart rate variability changes with stress.
Clinical aspects of ICD therapy, including safety of sports for patients with ICDs represent another avenue of research.
Specialized Terms: Arrhythmias, stress, and the autonomic nervous system; Management issues for patients with implantable defibrillators; End of life; Sports; Sports and exercise cardiology
Arrhythmias, Cardiac; Autonomic Nervous System; Cardiology; Sports Medicine; Stress, Physiological; Exercise; Defibrillators, Implantable