The interaction between cerebrovascular disease and neuroticism in late-life depression: a cross-sectional study

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;26(7):702-10. doi: 10.1002/gps.2584. Epub 2010 Jul 30.


Objective: Vascular disease and neuroticism are both risk factors for late-life depression. In this study we examined the interaction between vascular disease and neuroticism as determinants of clinically relevant depressive symptoms (CRDS) in late-life.

Methods: Multivariate logistic regression in a survey of 1396 population-dwelling people aged ≥70 years. CRDS were defined as scoring ≥16 on the CES-D. Vascular disease was categorised into four levels: none, ≥2 vascular risk factors, cardiac disease or stroke.

Results: Neuroticism was strongly associated with CRDS in women (OR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.4-1.8). In men vascular disease interacted negatively but significantly with neuroticism (cardiac disease by neuroticism: OR: 0.8, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9; stroke by neuroticism: OR: 0.8, 95% CI: 0.6-0.96) when predicting CRDS.

Conclusions: In men vascular disease attenuates the predictive value of neuroticism in CRDS, which might be mediated by apathy caused by cerebrovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors