Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 491–500 | Cite as

Is Symptomatic Long QT Syndrome Associated with Depression in Women and Men?

  • Karolina Wesołowska
  • Marko Elovainio
  • Mikael Koponen
  • Annukka M. Tuiskula
  • Mirka Hintsanen
  • Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen
  • Ilmari Määttänen
  • Heikki Swan
  • Taina Hintsa
Original Research


We examined whether long QT syndrome (LQTS) mutation carrier status or symptomatic LQTS are associated with depression, and whether there are sex differences in these potential relationships. The sample comprised 782 participants (252 men). Of the 369 genetically defined LQTS mutation carriers, 169 were symptomatic and 200 were asymptomatic. The control group consisted of 413 unaffected relatives. Depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). No association was found for LQTS mutation carrier status with depression. The multinomial logistic regression showed that LQTS mutation carrier men with arrhythmic events scored higher on depression compared with the control group, even when adjusting for age, β-blockers, antidepressants, and social support (OR = 1.09, 95 % CI [1.02, 1.15], p = .007). The binary logistic regression comparing symptomatic and asymptomatic LQTS mutation carriers showed that symptomatic LQTS was associated with depression in men (OR = 1.10, 95 % CI [1.03, 1.19], p = .009). The results were unchanged when additionally adjusted for education. These findings suggest that symptomatic LQTS is associated with depression in men but not in women. Overall, however, depression is more frequent in women than men. Thus, regular screening for depression in LQTS mutation carriers and their unaffected family members can be important.


Arrhythmia Depression Long QT syndrome (LQTS) Sex differences 



This study was supported by the Academy of Finland Grant 258711 awarded to Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Grant 2510/31/2013 awarded to Ilmari Määttänen. We thank Mauri Niiniaho and Paavo Nelke for their help in the data collection and related procedures.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Karolina Wesołowska, Marko Elovainio, Mikael Koponen, Annukka M. Tuiskula, Mirka Hintsanen, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Ilmari Määttänen, Heikki Swan, and Taina Hintsa declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human Studies and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Animal Studies

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karolina Wesołowska
    • 1
  • Marko Elovainio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mikael Koponen
    • 3
  • Annukka M. Tuiskula
    • 4
  • Mirka Hintsanen
    • 5
  • Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen
    • 1
  • Ilmari Määttänen
    • 1
  • Heikki Swan
    • 6
  • Taina Hintsa
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Behavioral SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.National Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Heart and Lung CenterHelsinki University Central HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  6. 6.Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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