The relationship between subtypes of depression and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review of biological models

Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Mar 13;2(3):e92. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.18.

Abstract

A compelling association has been observed between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and depression, suggesting individuals with depression to be at significantly higher risk for CVD and CVD-related mortality. Systemic immune activation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction have been frequently implicated in this relationship. Although a differential epidemiological association between CVD and depression subtypes is evident, it has not been determined if this indicates subtype specific biological mechanisms. A comprehensive systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed and PsycINFO databases yielding 147 articles for this review. A complex pattern of systemic immune activation, endothelial dysfunction and HPA axis hyperactivity is suggestive of the biological relationship between CVD and depression subtypes. The findings of this review suggest that diagnostic subtypes rather than a unifying model of depression should be considered when investigating the bidirectional biological relationship between CVD and depression. The suggested model of a subtype-specific biological relationship between depression and CVDs has implications for future research and possibly for diagnostic and therapeutic processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / classification
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Incidence
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics as Topic

Substances

  • Inflammation Mediators