Objective: Current evidence regarding the association between psychopathology and subclinical atherosclerosis show inconsistent results. The present study examined whether subclinical atherosclerosis was more prevalent in a large cohort of persons with depressive or anxiety disorders as compared to non-depressed and non-anxious controls. Methods: Baseline data from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety were used, including 2717 persons, free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Participants had a DSM-IV-based current or remitted depressive (major depressive disorder, dysthymia) or anxiety (social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia) disorder (n=2115) or were healthy controls (n=602). Additional clinical characteristics (severity, duration, age of onset and medication) were assessed. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) was used as a measure of vascular risk and was categorized as low (1.40), which was previously designated as a cardiovascular risk factor, reflecting arterial stiffness and wall calcification. Results: As compared to normal controls, persons with current (i.e., past year) depressive, anxiety or comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders showed a two- to threefold increased odds of low ABI (OR=2.78, 95% CI=1.05-7.35; OR=3.14, 95% CI=1.25-7.85; OR=2.67, 95% CI=1.09-6.51, respectively). No associations were found with mildly low or high ABI. Also, we did not further find a differential role for symptoms severity, duration, age of onset, and use of psychotropic medication in the link between psychopathology and subclinical atherosclerosis. Conclusion: Persons with current depressive or anxiety disorders were more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis compared to healthy controls. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.