Previous studies of the association between symptoms of anxiety or depression and coronary artery calcium (CAC) have produced heterogeneous results. Our aim was to investigate whether psychopathological symptoms were associated with CAC in a cross-sectional analysis of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) baseline. We analyzed data from 4,279 ELSA-Brasil subjects (aged 35 to 74 years) from the São Paulo site without previous cardiovascular disease who underwent CAC score assessment at baseline. Prevalent CAC was defined as a CAC score >0. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised (CIS-R). We built binary logistic regression models to determine whether CIS-R scores, anxiety, or depression were associated with prevalent CAC. Prevalent CAC was found in 1,211 subjects (28.3%). After adjustment for age and gender, a direct association between CIS-R scores and prevalent CAC was revealed (odds ratio for 1-SD increase: 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04 to 1.22). This association persisted after multivariate adjustment (odds ratio for 1-SD increase 1.11; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.20). No independent associations were found for specific diagnoses of anxiety or depression and prevalent CAC. In post hoc models, a significant interaction term (p = 0.019) suggested a stronger association in older subjects. In conclusion, psychopathological symptoms were directly associated with coronary atherosclerosis in the ELSA-Brasil baseline in adjusted models, and this association seems to be stronger in older subjects.
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