Background: We examined the relationship between baseline cardiovascular (CV) disease/risk factors and longitudinally-collected scores on the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) depression scale using an outpatient sample of individuals with mental illness (PCARES Registry, 2015–2020). Methods: Individuals with ≥2 repeated PHQ-9 assessments over one-year from the baseline PHQ-9 measurement (N = 2110) were included for trajectory modeling, with five depression symptom severity trajectory groups determined a priori (lowest, lower, middle, higher, and highest). Proportional odds models provided the association between baseline CV disease/risk factors and the odds of belonging to the more severe depression symptom trajectory group. In a sub-sample (baseline PHQ-9 score ≥10), linear-mixed effects models provided the association between baseline CV disease/risk factors and longitudinal PHQ-9 scores (N = 1118). Results: 2110 individuals included 65% females, 87% non-Hispanic white, 50% in lower and middle severity groups, with mean ± SD age: 43.0 ± 16.8 years and PHQ-9 score: 10.8 ± 7.0. Adjusting for socio-demographics and BMI [OR (95% CI)]: individuals with baseline hypertension [1.4 (1.2–1.7)], diabetes [1.3 (1.0–1.6)], dyslipidemia [1.2 (1.0–1.4)], tobacco use [2.0 (1.6–2.6)], and higher number of CV disease/risk factors (P-trend<0.0001) had significantly higher odds of more severe depression symptom trajectories; longitudinal PHQ-9 scores significantly decreased during 1-year follow-up, and the decrease was relatively lesser in individuals with hypertension or ≥1 CV disease/risk factors than those without these conditions. Limitations: Clinic-based patient sample limits generalizability of findings. Conclusions: Presence/absence of baseline CV risk factors significantly influenced longitudinal depression symptom severity among psychiatry outpatients, demonstrating the need for depression screening and surveillance among individuals with CV risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100139
JournalPsychiatry Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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