AHA: Depression, Anxiety Linked to CVD Risk Factors, MACE

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Composite measure of perceived stress associated with atherosclerotic and global cardiovascular disease

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Depression and anxiety are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), and a higher composite measure of perceived stress is associated with atherosclerotic and global CVD, according to two studies to be presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2023, being held from Nov. 11 to 13 in Philadelphia.

Giovanni Civieri, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined whether depression and anxiety accelerate the development of CVDRFs, which in turn increase MACE risk, in a study involving individuals enrolled in the Mass General Brigham Biobank. Data were included for 71,262 participants (mean age, 49.0 years). The researchers found that after adjusting for age, sex, and preexisting CVDRFs, depression and anxiety were associated with earlier development of a new CVDRF (β = −0.591 and −0.567). In adjusted analyses, an increased risk for MACE was seen with depression and/or anxiety (adjusted odds ratio, 1.353).

Ijeoma Eleazu, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues examined the association between a composite measure of perceived stress (cumulative stress score [CSS]), including individual perceived stress subcomponents, and CVDRFs and outcomes among 2,685 participants without prevalent CVD from the Dallas Heart Study phase 2. The researchers found that a higher CSS was associated with atherosclerotic CVD and global CVD during a median follow-up of 12.4 years (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.22 and 1.20, respectively).

“These findings suggest that we may not be capturing the impact of stress adequately when we only look at one factor or when we assess it broadly and/or subjectively,” Eleazu said in a statement.

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