Gender differences in cardiac autonomic modulation during medical internship

Yu Hsuan Lin, Ching Yen Chen, Sheng-Hsuan Lin, Chun Hao Liu, Wei Hung Weng, Terry B.J. Kuo, Cheryl C.H. Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Medical internship is known to be a time of high stress and long working hours, which increases the risk of depression and cardiovascular disease. Gender differences in medical interns' cardiovascular risk have not been reported previously. Thirty-eight medical interns (29 males) were repeatedly tested for depressive symptoms using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and 5-min spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) at 3-month intervals during their internship. Among the male interns, the variance of the heart rate decreased at 6, 9, 12 months, and a reduced high frequency, which suggests reduced cardiac parasympathetic modulation, was found at 9 and 12 months into their internship. Increased depressive symptoms were also identified at 12 months in the male group. No significant differences in depression or any of the HRV indices were identified among the female interns during their internship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Depression
  • Heart rate variability
  • Medical interns

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