Relation of Persistent Depressive Symptoms to Coronary Artery Calcification in Women Aged 46 to 59 Years

Imke Janssen, Lynda H. Powell, Karen A. Matthews, Mateusz S. Jasielec, Steven M. Hollenberg, Joyce T. Bromberger, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, Susan A. Everson-Rose

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24 Scopus citations


Depressive disorders have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the impact of depression on early atherogenesis has not been well described, particularly in women and minorities. The relation between repeated episodes of high depressive symptoms and coronary calcium (CAC) is unknown in women at midlife when depression is common. Participants in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation Heart study were assessed annually for depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale [CES-D scale]) over 5 years before CAC assessment and classified as high (CES-D ≥16) or not. CAC, measured by computed tomography, was analyzed as a categorical variable using cumulative logit partial proportional odds models. In these middle-aged women free of CVD and diabetes (194 black, 334 white), high depressive symptoms over 5 years were common; 19% had 1, 9% had 2, and 11% experienced ≥3 episodes. CAC was low; 54% had no CAC, 25% had scores from 0 to 10, and 21% had CAC ≥10 Agatston score. After adjusting for CVD risk factors, women with ≥3 episodes were twice as likely to have significant CAC (≥10 Agatston units) than women with no depressive episodes (odds ratio 2.20, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 4.28, p = 0.020) with no difference by race. Women with 1 or 2 episodes did not differ from women with no episodes. In conclusion, in healthy women aged 46 to 59 years without clinical CVD or diabetes, persistent depressive symptoms were significantly associated with elevated CAC scores, suggesting that they are more likely to have pathophysiological and behavioral effects on the development of subclinical CVD than does a single episode of elevated depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1884-1889
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) has received Grants NR004061 , AG012505 , AG012535 , AG012531 , AG012539 , AG012546 , AG012553 , AG012554 , and AG012495 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DHHS, through the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH). SWAN Heart was supported by Grants HL065581 , HL065591 , and HL089862 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . The Chicago site of the SWAN Heart study was also supported by the Charles J. and Margaret Roberts Trust . The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIA, NINR, ORWH, or the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


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