[Psychosomatic aspects of cardiac arrhythmias]

Med Klin (Munich). 2010 Jul;105(7):479-84. doi: 10.1007/s00063-010-1083-x. Epub 2010 Jul 30.
[Article in German]

Abstract

Emotional stress facilitates the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias including sudden cardiac death. The prevalence of anxiety and depression is increased in cardiac patients as compared to the normal population. The risk of cardiovascular mortality is enhanced in patients suffering from depression. Comorbid anxiety disorders worsen the course of cardiac arrhythmias. Disturbance of neurocardiac regulation with predominance of the sympathetic tone is hypothesized to be causative for this. The emotional reaction to cardiac arrhythmias is differing to a large extent between individuals. Emotional stress may result from coping with treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Emotional stress and cardiac arrhythmias may influence each other in the sense of a vicious circle. Somatoform cardiac arrhythmias are predominantly of psychogenic origin. Instrumental measures and frequent contacts between physicians and patients may facilitate disease chronification. The present review is dealing with the multifaceted relationships between cardiac arrhythmias and emotional stress. The underlying mechanisms and corresponding treatment modalities are discussed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / psychology*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Heart / innervation
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / physiopathology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Somatoform Disorders / physiopathology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Somatoform Disorders / therapy*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / psychology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / psychology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy

Substances

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs