Role of depression in the development of cardiometabolic multimorbidity: Findings from the UK Biobank study

J Affect Disord. 2022 Dec 15;319:260-266. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.09.084. Epub 2022 Sep 23.


Background: Depression has been acknowledged as a risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases, but its role in the development of cardiometabolic multimorbidity (CM) remains unclear. We aimed to prospectively investigate how depression affected the development of CM based on the UK Biobank study.

Methods: We included 459,747 participants with none or one prior cardiometabolic disease. Depression was assessed by the clinical diagnosis and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2). CM was defined as the coexistence of two or more conditions of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and coronary heart disease (CHD). Multistate models were used to examine the role of depression in the transitions from baseline to single cardiometabolic diseases and subsequently to CM.

Results: During a median follow-up of 12.07 years, we documented 3413 incident CM cases among initially disease-free participants and 7461 cases among participants with one prior cardiometabolic disease, respectively. The hazard of developing CM associated with depression was higher among disease-free individuals than that among individuals with one cardiometabolic disease (HR, 95 % CI: 1.68, 1.54-1.83 vs 1.28, 1.20-1.35). Moreover, depression was significantly associated with all transitions from baseline to diabetes (HR, 95 % CI: 1.43, 1.37-1.50), stroke (1.28, 1.20-1.38), and CHD (1.35, 1.31-1.40). After the onset of these cardiometabolic diseases, the HR values (95 % CIs) of progression to CM were 1.26 (1.09-1.46) for diabetes, 1.43 (1.16-1.76) for stroke, and 1.23 (1.08-1.40) for CHD.

Conclusions: Depression was an independent risk factor for CM, and adversely influenced the whole progression from disease-free status to CM.

Keywords: Cardiometabolic multimorbidity; Cohort study; Depression; Multistate model; UK Biobank.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Coronary Disease* / complications
  • Coronary Disease* / epidemiology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Multimorbidity
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology