Sex-specific associations of depressive symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in older adults.

Aging & mental health

PubMedID: 20455115

Rice MC, Katzel LI, Waldstein SR. Sex-specific associations of depressive symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in older adults. Aging Ment Health. 2010;14(4):405-10.
OBJECTIVES
To examine sex-specific associations between depressive symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in older men and women.

METHOD
One hundred and thirty-one healthy, community-dwelling older adults [mean age = 66(6.59), 63% male] completed the Beck depression inventory, and engaged in assessment of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), fasting total, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC, LDL-C, and HDL-C), triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and maximal aerobic capacity (Vo2max). Sex-stratified hierarchical regression analyses examined the association between depressive symptoms and each risk factor adjusting for age, education, and BMI (select models).

RESULTS
Significant associations were found between higher levels of depressive symptoms and greater BMI, WC, insulin, LDL-C, and lower Vo2max in women only (p < 0.05). The insulin association was partially mediated by BMI.

CONCLUSION
In healthy older women, but not men, higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with greater CVD risk factors. Depressive symptoms may confer biobehavioral risk for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in older women in part via their association with pertinent biomedical risk factors.