OBJECTIVE: To examine in a nonclinical sample of preadolescents the possibility that somatic and cognitive-affective depressive symptoms are differentially related with the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Depression is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Dysregulation of the ANS and the HPA axis have been proposed as underlying mechanisms. Several studies suggest that only a subset of the depression symptoms account for associations with cardiovascular prognosis. METHODS: Self-reported somatic and cognitive-affective depressive symptoms were examined in relationship to heart rate variability (HRV), spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in 2049 preadolescents (mean age = 11.1 years; 50.7% = girls) from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). RESULTS: Physiological measurements were not associated with the overall measure of depressive symptoms. Somatic depressive symptoms were negatively related to HRV and BRS, and positively to the CAR; cognitive-affective depressive symptoms were positively related to HRV and BRS, and negatively to the CAR. Associations with the CAR pertained to boys only. CONCLUSIONS: Somatic and cognitive-affective depressive symptoms differ in their association with both cardiac autonomic and HPA axis function in preadolescents. Particularly, somatic depression symptoms may mark cardiac risk. Copyright

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doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181bc756b, hdl.handle.net/1765/32564
Psychosomatic Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bosch, N.M, Riese, H, Dietrich, A, Ormel, J, Verhulst, F.C, & Oldehinkel, A.J. (2009). Preadolescents' somatic and cognitive-affective depressive symptoms are differentially related to cardiac autonomic function and cortisol: The TRAILS study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(9), 944–950. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181bc756b