Importance of heart rate variability investigation in the treatment of depression

Pretreatment heart rate variability (HRV) predicts antidepressant outcomes as a function of anxious versus nonanxious depression.

In anxious depression, patients with higher HRV had better outcomes, whereas patients with lower HRV had poorer outcomes. In nonanxious depression, patients with lower HRV had better outcomes, whereas patients with higher HRV had poorer outcomes. Investigation of HRV helps determine which patients with anxious depression could benefit from antidepressants and which of them may require a different treatment approach.

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