Depression and cardiovascular risk factors: evidence from a large postmortem sample


  • This study was presented in the Oral Presentation at the Seventh International Congress on Vascular Dementia on October 22, 2011, in Riga, Latvia.



We aimed to investigate the association of depression with cardiovascular risk factors and diseases (CVRFD) in a large population-based sample.


This cross-sectional study included 1012 deceased individuals greater than 50 years of age from a general autopsy service located in São Paulo, Brazil. Demographics, socioeconomic profile, and CVRFD information were collected by caregivers from the deceased individuals from the Brain Bank of the Brazilian Aging Brain Study Group. Depression diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Mental Disorders was the main outcome.


Depression was associated with female gender (odds ratio (OR) = 1.86; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.28–2.71, p = 0.001), widowhood (OR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.03–2.32, p = 0.04), physical inactivity (OR = 1.61; 95% CI = 1.15–2.26, p = 0.006), and smoking (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.40–2.95, p < 0.001) after multivariate logistic regression analysis. Other CVRFD were not associated with the presence of depression.


In our cross-sectional study, sedentary individuals and smokers showed a higher chance of depression during lifetime. Measures to control these common risk factors could decrease the incidence of depression. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.