Depression and the risk of coronary heart disease in the Normative Aging Study

Am J Cardiol. 1998 Oct 1;82(7):851-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(98)00491-3.


Increasing evidence supports an association between symptomatic depression and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), although no single study has compared multiple depression scales. We hypothesized that higher levels of symptomatic depression assessed from different depression scales were associated with the risk of CHD. We examined this relation in the Normative Aging Study, a prospective cohort of older men. A total of 1,305 men free of diagnosed CHD in 1986 completed the revised Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2). We categorized scores for the MMPI-2 D, MMPI-2 DEP, and Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) depression scales. During an average 7.0 years of follow-up, 110 cases of incident CHD occurred, including 30 cases of nonfatal myocardial infarction, 20 cases of fatal CHD, and 60 cases of angina pectoris. Compared with men reporting the lowest level of depression, men in the highest level of depression had multivariate-adjusted relative risks of incident CHD (total CHD and angina) of 1.46 (95% confidence interval 0.83 to 2.57), 2.07 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 3.81), and 1.73 (95% confidence interval 0.97 to 3.10) for the MMPI-2 D, MMPI-2 DEP, and SCL-90 scales, respectively. Similar RRs were obtained for each CHD subtype according to each depression scale. We found strong dose-response relations between level of depression measured by the MMPI-2 DEP scale and incidence of both angina pectoris (p value for trend, 0.039) and CHD (p value for trend, 0.016). Among older men, symptomatic depression measured by any of 3 depression scales may be positively associated with the risk of CHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors