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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;16(11):874-82. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181784122. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Cardiovascular risk profile and subsequent disability and mental well-being: the Zutphen Elderly Study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



It is insufficiently known whether "classic" cardiovascular risk factors are associated with subsequent functional disability and mental well-being in elderly men.


A population-based cohort study with 15 years of follow-up from 1985 onward.


The Zutphen Study started as the Dutch contribution to the Seven Countries Study.


Five hundred forty-five (59.2%) of 887 men (aged 64-84 years) who were free of preexisting cardiovascular disease and cancer.


High cardiovascular risk was defined as having >/=2 "classic" risk factors: body mass index >/=30.0 kg/m(2), presently smoking, hypertension (systolic blood pressure >/=160 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure >/=95 mm Hg, or antihypertensive medication), serum cholesterol >/=6.5 mmol/L, and diabetes mellitus. Self-rated health and dispositional optimism were assessed in 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Disability and depressive symptoms (by the Zung self-rating depression scale) were assessed from 1990 onward.


The high-risk (N = 230) versus low-risk group (N = 315) had higher multivariate adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratios: 1.43; confidence interval[CI]: 1.15, 1.76; and 1.61; CI: 1.20, 2.18, respectively). High-risk status was also associated with more functional disability at 5, 10, and 15 years (odds ratios of 2.00, 95% CI: 1.25-3.20; 2.51, 95% CI: 1.36-4.65; and 2.45, 95% CI: 0.91-6.61, respectively), adjusted for baseline age, self-rated health, and dispositional optimism. Risk status was not associated with self-rated health, dispositional optimism, or depressive symptoms at follow-up.


Combined "classic" cardiovascular risk factors are not associated with impaired self-rated health or mental well-being in elderly men, but are predictive of functional disability.

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