Depression and onset of cardiovascular disease in the US middle-Aged and older adults

Xiaoling Xiang, Ruopeng An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To examine the relationship between depression and onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the US middle-Aged and older adults.Methods: The study sample came from 1992-2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey, consisting of 8597 community-dwelling adults aged 51-61 years old in 1992 with no CVD history. A score of ≥3 on the 8-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to define clinically relevant depressive symptoms. Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox proportional hazards model were performed to examine the association between baseline depressive symptoms and future CVD event. Subgroup analyses were conducted by sex and race/ethnicity.Results: Compared with their counterparts without clinically relevant depressive symptoms, adults with clinically relevant depressive symptoms in 1992 were 27% (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.27, 95% confidence interval = 1.17-1.39) more likely to report new diagnosis of CVD during the 18 years of follow-up. A significant dose-response relationship was present between severity of depressive symptoms and elevated CVD risk. The adjusted HRs for males and Hispanics appeared moderately larger than for their female and non-Hispanic white or African American counterparts, although the differences were not statistically significant.Conclusion: Holistic promotion of mental health through prevention, education, treatment, and rehabilitation is warranted to reduce CVD risk in the US middle-Aged and older population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1092
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Health and retirement study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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