Cardiovascular Risk Factors Tied to Depression Risk in Older Adults

Findings particularly strong in older women

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THURSDAY, April 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk factors are associated with an increased risk for depression in older adults, according to a study published online April 13 in PLOS ONE.

Sandra Martín-Peláez, Ph.D., from University of Granada in Spain, and colleagues examined the association between cardiovascular risk (CVR) factors and depressive status in adults aged 55 to 75 years with metabolic syndrome.

The researchers found that high-risk women showed higher odds of depressive status versus low-risk individuals (odds ratio [OR], 1.78). Compared with low-risk individuals, those with a medium or high risk with total cholesterol <160 mg/mL had higher odds of depression (OR, 1.77 and 2.83, respectively). However, those with total cholesterol ≥280 mg/mL showed lower odds of depression than low-risk individuals (OR, 0.26 and 0.23, respectively). After two years, all participants had decreases in their Beck Depression Inventory-II score, with a smaller decrease in medium-risk and high-risk people with diabetes versus those with low risk, while those with medium and high risk and total cholesterol between 240 and 279 mg/mL showed greater decreases in depression scores versus low-risk individuals.

"Identification of CVR factors as early indicators of depression development in older adults with overweight or obesity and metabolic syndrome should be performed," the authors write.

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