Association of depressive symptom severity with coronary artery calcium: The Dallas heart study

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Background: Previous studies have yielded mixed results regarding the relationship between depressive symptoms and coronary artery calcium (CAC). This analysis sought to evaluate this relationship using a multiethnic, population-based cohort. Methods: Data were extracted from the second phase of the Dallas Heart Study (DHS-2). Depressive symptom severity was measured with the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self Report (QIDS), a validated depressive symptom severity scale. A regression analysis was performed using QIDS score as the predictor variable and CAC as the outcome variable. Covariates included age, sex, ethnicity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and body mass index. Results: The cohort consisted of 2,293 individuals with a mean age of 50 years and included 47.1% female and 47.1% black participants. The mean QIDS score was 4.37(±3.69), and 43.3% had CAC > 0. Regression results indicated that QIDS does not statistically significantly predict whether one does or does not have CAC, when controlling for age, sex, and ethnicity (β = 0.088, p = .240, OR = 1.092, 95% CI 0.943–1.264). Limitations: Cross sectional design is limited to one point in time, very depressed patients with higher CAC burden may not have participated, and depressive symptoms may be associated with subclinical atherosclerosis differently with a formal diagnosis of depression. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms were not associated with presence or severity of CAC in a multiethnic population based sample. Future studies are needed to determine if other prognostic markers of coronary heart disease are associated with depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of affective disorders
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Depression;Coronary artery calcium;QIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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