Vascular risk and depression in the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (EPESE)

Jennifer A. Zimmerman, Benjamin T. Mast, Toni Miles, Kyriakos S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Objective: Although vascular depression has received considerable research attention, relatively little research in this area has focused on minority samples. This study investigated the association between baseline vascular risk factors (VRFs) and risk for elevated depressive symptoms at 2-year follow-up in a sample of 964 individuals without significant depressive symptomotology (CES-D < 12) or cognitive impairment (MMSE≥ 24) at baseline from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly. Methods: We examined the associations between self-reported baseline vascular risk factors (chest pain, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking) and a composite of these risk factors with elevated depressive symptoms (CES-D ≥ 16) at 2-year follow-up. Results: Seventy-four (7.7%) of the 964 participants without evidence of depression at baseline demonstrated elevated depressive symptoms (CESD ≥ 16) 2 years later. There was an overall pattern of higher rates of elevated depressive symptoms at 2-year follow-up with increasing number of vascular risk factors (0 VRFs = 6.4%, 1 VRF = 5.5%, 2 VRFs = 7.7%, and 3 or more VRFs = 14.7%). After controlling for demographic variables, physical functioning, and other medical conditions, the cumulative vascular risk index was significantly associated with elevated depressive symptoms at 2-year follow-up (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest vascular conditions may contribute to risk for depression over time among Mexican American elders, and this is relatively independent of other medical conditions. These findings suggest that depression is an additional long-term complication of these common cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009



  • Geriatric depression
  • Hispanic elders
  • Mexican American elders
  • Minority elders
  • Vascular depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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