Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Associates With Elevated Resting Heart Rate

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Associates With Elevated Resting Heart Rate

Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been located to have enhanced sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic activity compared with wholesome controls. These findings have been published in Clinical Neurophysiology.

Untreated patients (n=51) with OCD have been recruited from the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany and age- and gender-matched wholesome controls (n=28) have been recruited from the university’s psychiatry division among 2009 and 2014. Study participants have been evaluated by a 15-minute resting-state electrocardiogram to identify heart price variability (HRV) and symptoms of OCD have been assessed employing the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) instrument. Response to therapy was evaluated at 3 to 6 months right after serotonin reuptake inhibitor and/or psychological therapy.

The OCD and manage cohorts have been aged imply 34. (SD, 10.5) and 35.2 (SD, 12.5) years and 41.20% and 40.00% have been males, respectively. Stratified by therapy response, nonresponders (n=19) have been older (P =.01) and had larger CGI severity of illness scores (P =.01) compared with responders to therapy.

Continue Reading

The only HRV marker that differed among OCD and manage cohorts was imply heart price, which was elevated amongst the patients with OCD (imply, 72.7 vs 66.43 bpm P &lt.001).

Using only HRV markers, OCD could be predicted amongst 76.6% of study participants. The prediction model had an 88% sensitivity, 57% specificity, and an region below the curve (AUC) of 83%.

Among the OCD group, nonresponders had a reduce log of higher-frequency energy (imply, 2.4 vs 2.77 ms2 P =.03). High-frequency energy was correlated with CGI efficacy index scores (r, -.41 P &lt.01).

Using only HRV parameters, therapy response was predicted properly amongst 79.6% of participants in a model with an 87% sensitivity, 67% specificity, and 88.2% AUC.

This study may perhaps have been restricted by not stratifying patients by OCD symptomology or by OCD therapy.

“In conclusion, this study showed that OCD patients suffer from a higher heart rate during rest in comparison to healthy controls. However, a lowered parasympathetic tone was positively associated with treatment response,” stated the study authors.


Olbrich H, Jahn I, Stengler K, Seifritz E, Colla M. Heart rate variability in obsessive compulsive disorder in comparison to healthy controls and as predictor of treatment response. Clin Neurophysiol. 2022138:123-131. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2022.02.029

Originally published in www.psychiatryadvisor.com