- BACKGROUND: Depressed mood has been prospectively associated with hypertension. Altered ANS function, as reflected in poor CV recovery, may be one mechanism that underlies this relationship. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between depressed mood and cardiovascular recovery following a standard mental stress task in healthy young women. METHODS: Depressed mood was assessed in 63 young women. Cardiovascular data were collected during a 5-min baseline period, 5-min public speaking stress task, and 15-min recovery period. RESULTS: Depressed mood accounted for 9.6% of the variation in HR reactivity (F(1,58) = 6.513, p = 0.013) and 4.5% of DBP recovery (F(1,58) = 4.538, p = 0.037). CONCLUSIONS: Greater depressed mood was associated with greater HR reactivity and poorer DBP recovery. This is the first study to directly investigate associations between depressed mood and CV recovery following mental stress.