Reversal of increased arterial stiffness in severely depressed women after 6-week antidepressant treatment

J Affect Disord. 2010 Apr;122(1-2):164-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Sep 3.


Background: Increased arterial stiffness (AS) might be one significant acute mediator of the well-attested association between female depression and cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We tested this hypothesis in an inpatient sample of 20 drug-free women undergoing a new clinically severe major depressive episode of recent onset with an adequately matched mentally healthy control group. Patients' clinical (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) and vascular (Pulse-Wave-Velocity, PWV) assessments were performed both before the initiation and after the completion of their six-week antidepressant treatment.

Results: Although initially patients exhibited significantly higher PWV values than controls, this was decreased and reached comparable levels to controls after treatment completion. Moreover, full-responders exhibited significantly greater vascular improvement than their partial-responders counterparts and the magnitude of their amelioration was strongly associated with the magnitude of their clinical improvement.

Limitations: Our sample-size was small and patients' follow-up short.

Conclusions: Our findings provide support to the hypothesis that current severe major depressive episode in women leads acutely to aggravation of arterial stiffness, reversible however upon timely and effective antidepressant treatment.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects*
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology


  • Antidepressive Agents