Cardiovascular events and mortality in newly and chronically depressed persons > 70 years of age

Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Jack M. Guralnik, Carlos F. Mendes De Leon, Marco Pahor, Marjolein Visser, Maria Chiara Corti, Robert B. Wallace

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    143 Citations (Scopus)


    The role of duration of depressed mood in the prediction of cardiovascular disease (CVD) requires further study, as it has been suggested that emerging depressive symptoms may be a better predictor than persistent depressive symptoms. This prospective cohort study of 3,701 men and women aged >70 years uses 3 measurement occasions of depressive symptomatology (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale) during a 6-year period to distinguish persons who were newly (depressed at baseline but not at 3 and 6 years before baseline) and chronically depressed (depressed at baseline and at 3 or 6 years before baseline). Their risk of subsequent CVD events and all-cause mortality was compared with that of subjects who were never depressed during the 6-year period. Outcome events were based on death certificates and Medicare hospitalization records. During a median follow-up of 4.0 years, there were 732 deaths (46.2/1,000 person-years) and 933 new CVD events (64.7/1,000 person-years). In men, but not in women, newly depressed mood was associated with an increased risk of CVD mortality (relative risk 1.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00 to 3.05), new CVD events (relative risk 2.07, 95% CI 1.44 to 2.96), and new coronary heart disease events (relative risk 2.03, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.24) after adjustment for traditional CVD risk factors. The association between newly depressed mood and all-cause mortality was smaller (relative risk 1.40, 95% CI 0.95 to 2.07). Chronic depressed mood was not associated with new CVD events or all-cause mortality. Our findings suggest that newly depressed older men, but not women, were approximately twice as likely to have a CVD event than those who were never depressed. In men, recent onset of depressed mood is a better predictor of CVD than long-term depressed mood.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)988-994
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 1998

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