Prospective bidirectional relations between depression and metabolic health: 30-year follow-up from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Coronary Artery Disease in Young Adults (CARDIA) study

Nicholas R Moorehead, Jeffrey L Goodie, David S Krantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated prospective bidirectional relationships between depressive symptoms and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and the moderating effects of race, sex, and health behaviors in a diverse cohort followed for 30 years.

METHOD: Data were analyzed from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Coronary Artery Disease in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a 30-year prospective study of young adults ( N = 5,113; M age = 24.76 [ SD = 3.63] at baseline; 45% male) who were tested every 5 years between 1985 and 2015. Measures included biological assessments of MetS components and self-reported depressive symptoms based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) scale. Data analyses included bidirectional general estimating equations analyses of time-lagged associations between depressive symptoms and MetS.

RESULTS: There was a consistent, bidirectional relationship between depressive symptoms and MetS over time. Individuals with more CESD depressive symptoms were more likely to develop MetS over time compared to those reporting fewer symptoms, Wald χ²(1) = 7.09, p < .008, and MetS was similarly predictive of CESD. MetS more consistently predicted CESD scores at each 5-year exam than CESD predicted MetS. Race and sex moderated these relationships, with White females, White individuals overall, and females overall demonstrating significant relationships between CESD depressive symptoms and MetS. Health behaviors were not related to associations between CESD and MetS.

CONCLUSION: In a diverse young adult population prospectively followed into late middle age, MetS more consistently predicted depressive symptoms over time than depressive symptoms predicted MetS. The relation between MetS and depressive symptoms was moderated by race and sex, but not health behaviors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2023

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