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Stroke. 2012 Jul;43(7):1761-7. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.645366. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Depressive symptoms, a time-dependent risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke in middle-aged men: the PRIME Study.

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INSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, Equipe 4: Epidémiologie cardiovasculaire et mort subite, 56 rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris, France.

Erratum in

  • Stroke. 2012 Jul;43(7):e70.



To date, the association between depressive symptoms and the risk of cardiovascular diseases remains controversial. We investigated prospectively, within the same population, the time course of the association between baseline depressive symptoms and first stroke or coronary heart disease event.


In the Prospective Epidemiological Study of Myocardial Infarction (PRIME) Study, a multicenter, observational, prospective cohort, 9601 men from France and Northern Ireland were surveyed for the occurrence of first coronary heart disease (n=647) and stroke events (n=136) over 10 years. At baseline, the fourth quartile of a 13-item modified Center for Epidemiological Studies questionnaire was used to define the presence of depressive symptoms. We sought the best time-dependent function to assess the association between depressive symptoms and outcomes. Thus, the hazard ratios were estimated by a Cox proportional hazard model after splitting the follow-up before and after 5 years of follow-up time periods.


Depressive symptoms at baseline were associated with coronary heart disease in the first 5 years of follow-up (hazard ratio, 1.43; 1.10-1.87) and with stroke in the second 5 years of follow up (hazard ratio, 1.96; 1.21-3.19) after adjustment for age, study centers, baseline socioeconomic factors, traditional vascular risk factors, and antidepressant treatment. The association was even stronger for ischemic stroke (n=108; hazard ratio, 2.48; 1.45-4.25).


The current study suggests that in healthy, European, middle-aged men, baseline depressive symptoms are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in the short-term, and for stroke in the long-term.

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