Vascular risk to late-life depression: Evidence from a longitudinal community study

Ian Hickie*, Leon Simons, Sharon Naismith, Judith Simons, John McCallum, Kerrie Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine prospectively relationships between minor cerebrovascular episodes and depressive symptoms in a community cohort of older persons. Method: In 1988-1989, baseline measurements of vascular risk factors and depressive symptoms were obtained in older community residents (mean age = 67). At 10-year follow-up, three subgroups of subjects still residing in the community were re-assessed: those who had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) (n = 16) in the intervening period; those with hypertension but no TIAs (n = 38); and, those with neither TIAs nor hypertension (n = 40). Results: Of the 16 persons with depressive symptoms at 10-year follow-up, only three had reported depressive symptoms initially. Subjects who had experienced TIAs during the longitudinal phase had higher rates of depressive symptoms than the subjects from the other two groups (38% vs 13%, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study supports the notion that cerebrovascular incidents predispose to late-onset depression in older persons residing in the community. Intrinsically, this provides epidemiological support for the validity of the concept of 'vascular depression'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrovascular risk
  • Depression
  • Late-onset
  • Transient ischaemic attack
  • Vascular depression


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