Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Depression and history of attempted suicide as risk factors for heart disease mortality in young individuals.

CONTEXT: Although depression is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, there is virtually no information on whether it also increases the risk in young populations.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the association of unipolar and bipolar depression and a history of attempted suicide with mortality due to ischemic heart disease (IHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in young US adults and to examine potential sex differences.

DESIGN: Longitudinal epidemiologic study.

SETTING: Nationally representative sample of US adults.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 7641 US adults aged 17 to 39 years from the 1988-1994 Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cardiovascular disease and IHD mortality. Unipolar/bipolar depression and a history of attempted suicide were assessed via the Diagnostic Interview Schedule.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 14.9 years, a total of 51 subjects (0.67%) died of CVD causes and 28 (0.37%) died of IHD. Depression (538 individuals [7.04%]) and history of attempted suicide (419 [5.48%]) were each associated with an increased risk of IHD death, with adjusted hazard ratios of 3.70 (95% CI, 1.32-10.35) for depression and 7.12 (2.67-18.98) for a history of attempted suicide. Women with depression or a history of attempted suicide had a 3-fold adjusted risk of CVD (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.20 [95% CI, 1.12-9.17]) and a 14-fold adjusted risk of IHD (14.57 [2.65-80.10]). Corresponding figures for men were 2.37 (0.85-6.58) and 3.52 (1.05-11.76).

CONCLUSION: In adults younger than 40 years, depression and history of attempted suicide are significant independent predictors of premature CVD and IHD mortality in both sexes.

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