The weight of subclinical vascular disease & neuroticism in late-life depression

Radboud Marijnissen

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    Depression in later life has been associated with negative consequences, like more often occurence of physical diseases and decreased quality of life. Depression and heart- and vascular diseases are associated. Atherosclerosis and neuroticism (tendency for emotional instability) are two important riskfactors for developing a late-life depression. The proces of atherosclerosis takes years and riskfactors for it are for example overweight and disturbances in metabolism (metabolic syndrome). We examined the assocation between different symptoms of late-life depression on one hand and atherosclerosis and the riskfactors on the other hand. We explored the role of neuroticism in developing a depression in older people.

    This study showed that there is an assocation between late-life depression and vascular diseases in an early stage, in which they have not lead to a heart- or cerebral infarct. (low degree of atherosclerosis and riskfactors for vascular disease like overweight and metabolic syndrome). We found that this association concerned specific depressive symptoms like fatique, loss of appetite and weightloss. As older people suffer from more severe atherosclerosis, the effect of neuroticism in developing depressive symptoms decreases. More severe atherosclerosis in ageing thus may explain why symptoms of depression might change in older people. Moreover the association between atherosclerosis might explain why depression is a riskfactor for stroke. Interestingly, in this study was found that depressed older patients, without neuroticism were more at risk for a stroke.
    Translated title of the contributionHet gewicht van subklinische vasculaire ziekte en neuroticisme in de ouderdomsdepressie
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Oude Voshaar, Richard, Supervisor
    • Schoevers, Robert, Supervisor
    • de Jonge, Peter, Assessment committee
    • Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M, Assessment committee, External person
    • Stek, M. L., Assessment committee, External person
    Award date12-Nov-2014
    Place of Publication[S.l.]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-7259-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7260-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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