Vonetta M. Dotson is now in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Temporal relationships between depressive symptoms and white matter hyperintensities in older men and women
Article first published online: 13 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 66–74, January 2013
How to Cite
Dotson, V. M., Zonderman, A. B., Kraut, M. A. and Resnick, S. M. (2013), Temporal relationships between depressive symptoms and white matter hyperintensities in older men and women. Int. J. Geriat. Psychiatry, 28: 66–74. doi: 10.1002/gps.3791
Presented, in part, at the 39th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL, 17–21 October 2009.
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 13 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 23 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 JAN 2011
- vascular disease;
- sex differences;
- longitudinal studies
Associations between vascular disease and depression in late life, including increased white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), have been reported. Whether depression is an etiology or a consequence of vascular disease is still unknown. We investigated the temporal relationship between depressive symptoms and WMHs in older men and women.
We utilized data from 90 dementia-free older adults (39 women, 51 men), 57 years of age and older at baseline, from the neuroimaging substudy of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Participants were followed for up to 8 years. Ratings of white matter disease burden were available for the first, last, and at least one interim visit, and participants completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) annually. Statistical models, performed separately in men and women, examined whether depressive symptoms predicted subsequent WMH ratings or WMHs predicted subsequent depressive symptoms.
The total CES-D score was not associated with WMHs in men or women. In men, the CES-D depressed mood subscale predicted accelerating longitudinal increases in WMHs at older ages, but WMHs did not predict subsequent depressive symptoms. In women, there were no significant associations between the CES-D depressed mood subscale and WMHs.
White matter disease may be a consequence of depressed mood in men but not in women. Intervention strategies for depression may slow the progression of white matter disease in older men. These results add to previous findings documenting sex differences in the correlates of depressive disorders in late life. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.