Depression and risk of heart disease

Health Rep. 2008 Sep;19(3):7-17.


Objective: A population-based sample of 4948 men and women aged 40 or older who did not have heart disease in 1994/1995 were followed to 2006/ 2007 to determine if depression was associated with increased risk of heart disease diagnosis or death.

Data sources: Data from seven cycles of the National Population Health Survey (NPHS), 1994/1995 through 2006/2007, were used for longitudinal analysis. Prevalence estimates of heart disease and depression in the population aged 40 years or older were based on the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey 1.2: Mental Health and Well-being.

Analytical techniques: The association between depression and heart disease was analyzed with separate proportional hazards models for men and women, adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and heart disease risk factors.

Main results: Among people aged 40 or older and free of heart disease in 1994/1995, 19% of men and 15% of women had developed or died from heart disease by 2006/2007. The risk of heart disease was significantly higher for women who had depression, but not for men. When heart disease events occurring within two years of baseline were removed, depression was not significantly associated with heart disease risk among women or men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / psychology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors