The following is a summary of “Effect of gender on the association between cumulative cardiovascular risk factors and depression: results from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” published in the August 2023 issue of Psychiatry by Li et al.
Depression and cardiovascular disease(CVD) are often found together, but the link between cumulative CVD risk and depression is poorly understood. Researchers performed a retrospective study to investigate the individual and cumulative effects of 18 CVD risk factors on depression.
This cross-sectional analysis explored the link between 18 CVD risk factors and depression. They also studied how age, gender, and CVD status interacted with these factors. The study included 20,816 participants from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005–2016). Participants with high depression scores or using antidepressants were categorized as depressive, and the analysis incorporated 18 established CVD risk factors.
The study examined individual risk factors like smoking, drinking, living alone, sleep quality, body mass index, waist circumference, and diabetes status, which were linked to varying depression risks based on participants’ gender, age, or CVD status. Notably, when considering gender-specific cumulative risk, both genders showed similar depression risk with a few CVD risk factors (OR adjusted = 1.32; 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.99). However, under high cumulative risk exposure, females had significantly higher depression risk than males (ORadjusted = 2.86; 95% CI: 1.79 to 4.59).
The study concluded the relationship between CVD risk factors and depression is complex and varies depending on gender, age, and CVD status. Understanding these factors can help us identify people at risk of depression and prevent it. In particular, women are more vulnerable to depression with high cumulative risk exposure. This may be due to biological, social, and environmental factors.