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Are Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Perceived Stress Related to Functional Somatic Symptoms in Adolescents? The TRAILS Study.

Janssens KA, Riese H, Van Roon AM, Hunfeld JA, Groot PF, Oldehinkel AJ, Rosmalen JG - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: In the current study, we examined whether FSS are associated with different perceived stress and cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) levels during a standardized stressful situation, and whether these associations are symptom-specific.Perceived arousal levels during (beta = 0.09, p = 0.04) and after (beta = 0.07, p = 0.047) the GSST, and perceived unpleasantness levels before (beta = 0.07, p = 0.048) and during (beta = 0.12, p = 0.001) the GSST were related to FSS during the past couple of months.Neither ANS activity levels before, during, and after the GSST, nor maximal HF-HRV and PEP reactivity were related to FSS.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion regulation, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

Objective: Stressors have been related to medically insufficiently explained or functional somatic symptoms (FSS). However, the underlying mechanism of this association is largely unclear. In the current study, we examined whether FSS are associated with different perceived stress and cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) levels during a standardized stressful situation, and whether these associations are symptom-specific.

Methods: We examined 715 adolescents (16.1 years, 51.3% girls) from the Dutch cohort study Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Sample during the Groningen Social Stress Test (GSST). FSS were assessed by the Youth Self-Report, and clustered into a cluster of overtiredness, dizziness and musculoskeletal pain and a cluster of headache and gastrointestinal symptoms. Perceived stress levels (i.e. unpleasantness and arousal) were assessed by the Self-Assessment Manikin, and cardiac ANS activity by assessing heart rate variability (HRV-HF) and pre-ejection period (PEP). Perceived stress and cardiac ANS levels before, during, and after the GSST were studied as well as cardiac ANS reactivity. Linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations.

Results: Perceived arousal levels during (beta = 0.09, p = 0.04) and after (beta = 0.07, p = 0.047) the GSST, and perceived unpleasantness levels before (beta = 0.07, p = 0.048) and during (beta = 0.12, p = 0.001) the GSST were related to FSS during the past couple of months. The association between perceived stress and FSS was stronger for the FSS cluster of overtiredness, dizziness and musculoskeletal pain than for the cluster of headache and gastrointestinal symptoms. Neither ANS activity levels before, during, and after the GSST, nor maximal HF-HRV and PEP reactivity were related to FSS.

Conclusions: This study suggests that perceived stress levels during social stress are related to FSS, whereas cardiac ANS activity and reactivity are not related to FSS.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Timeline of the stress experiment and time points at which perceived stress and autonomic nervous system activity have been assessed.*used as robustness check.
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pone.0153318.g001: Timeline of the stress experiment and time points at which perceived stress and autonomic nervous system activity have been assessed.*used as robustness check.

Mentions: The experimental session consisted of a number of different challenges, i.e. a spatial orienting task, a gambling task, a startle reflex task, and a social stress test. The session was preceded and followed by a 40-minute period of rest (Fig 1). Before, during, and after the experimental session, extensively trained test assistants assessed cardiovascular measures and perceived stress. The cardiovascular electrocardiogram (ECG) and impedance cardiogram (ICG) recordings were performed in sitting, supine, and standing position at the start of the experiment, and in sitting position during and after the social stress test, in seven blocks (Fig 1). The experimental sessions took place in sound-proof rooms with blinded windows at selected locations in the participants’ towns of residence. The total session lasted about three-and-a-half hours, and started between 8:00 and 9:30 am (morning sessions, 50%) or between 1:00 and 2:30 pm (afternoon sessions, 50%). The allocation of participants to morning or afternoon sessions was random. The protocol was approved by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO), The Hague, the Netherlands. All participating adolescents and their parents gave written informed consent.


Are Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Perceived Stress Related to Functional Somatic Symptoms in Adolescents? The TRAILS Study.

Janssens KA, Riese H, Van Roon AM, Hunfeld JA, Groot PF, Oldehinkel AJ, Rosmalen JG - PLoS ONE (2016)

Timeline of the stress experiment and time points at which perceived stress and autonomic nervous system activity have been assessed.*used as robustness check.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835073&req=5

pone.0153318.g001: Timeline of the stress experiment and time points at which perceived stress and autonomic nervous system activity have been assessed.*used as robustness check.
Mentions: The experimental session consisted of a number of different challenges, i.e. a spatial orienting task, a gambling task, a startle reflex task, and a social stress test. The session was preceded and followed by a 40-minute period of rest (Fig 1). Before, during, and after the experimental session, extensively trained test assistants assessed cardiovascular measures and perceived stress. The cardiovascular electrocardiogram (ECG) and impedance cardiogram (ICG) recordings were performed in sitting, supine, and standing position at the start of the experiment, and in sitting position during and after the social stress test, in seven blocks (Fig 1). The experimental sessions took place in sound-proof rooms with blinded windows at selected locations in the participants’ towns of residence. The total session lasted about three-and-a-half hours, and started between 8:00 and 9:30 am (morning sessions, 50%) or between 1:00 and 2:30 pm (afternoon sessions, 50%). The allocation of participants to morning or afternoon sessions was random. The protocol was approved by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO), The Hague, the Netherlands. All participating adolescents and their parents gave written informed consent.

Bottom Line: In the current study, we examined whether FSS are associated with different perceived stress and cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) levels during a standardized stressful situation, and whether these associations are symptom-specific.Perceived arousal levels during (beta = 0.09, p = 0.04) and after (beta = 0.07, p = 0.047) the GSST, and perceived unpleasantness levels before (beta = 0.07, p = 0.048) and during (beta = 0.12, p = 0.001) the GSST were related to FSS during the past couple of months.Neither ANS activity levels before, during, and after the GSST, nor maximal HF-HRV and PEP reactivity were related to FSS.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion regulation, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

Objective: Stressors have been related to medically insufficiently explained or functional somatic symptoms (FSS). However, the underlying mechanism of this association is largely unclear. In the current study, we examined whether FSS are associated with different perceived stress and cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) levels during a standardized stressful situation, and whether these associations are symptom-specific.

Methods: We examined 715 adolescents (16.1 years, 51.3% girls) from the Dutch cohort study Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Sample during the Groningen Social Stress Test (GSST). FSS were assessed by the Youth Self-Report, and clustered into a cluster of overtiredness, dizziness and musculoskeletal pain and a cluster of headache and gastrointestinal symptoms. Perceived stress levels (i.e. unpleasantness and arousal) were assessed by the Self-Assessment Manikin, and cardiac ANS activity by assessing heart rate variability (HRV-HF) and pre-ejection period (PEP). Perceived stress and cardiac ANS levels before, during, and after the GSST were studied as well as cardiac ANS reactivity. Linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations.

Results: Perceived arousal levels during (beta = 0.09, p = 0.04) and after (beta = 0.07, p = 0.047) the GSST, and perceived unpleasantness levels before (beta = 0.07, p = 0.048) and during (beta = 0.12, p = 0.001) the GSST were related to FSS during the past couple of months. The association between perceived stress and FSS was stronger for the FSS cluster of overtiredness, dizziness and musculoskeletal pain than for the cluster of headache and gastrointestinal symptoms. Neither ANS activity levels before, during, and after the GSST, nor maximal HF-HRV and PEP reactivity were related to FSS.

Conclusions: This study suggests that perceived stress levels during social stress are related to FSS, whereas cardiac ANS activity and reactivity are not related to FSS.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus