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OBJECTIVE: The authors asked whether polymorphic variation at three genes related to vascular disease, and other vascular disease risk factors, determine late-life depression. METHODS: A group of 370 participants, representing 57% of survivors of an initial cohort of 1,083 participants in the Medical Research Council treatment trial of hypertension in older adults, had been screened for depression at baseline and were traced and genotyped for genetic analysis 11 years later. Genetic analyses were performed to establish variability at three polymorphisms related to vascular disease: APOE encoding for apolipoprotein-E, VLDL-R encoding for the VLDL cholesterol-receptor, and DCP-1 encoding for angiotensin-converter enzyme. Information on vascular disease and its risk factors (ECG ischemia or arrhythmia, body mass index, serum cholesterol, smoking status, and systolic/diastolic blood pressure) and cognitive functioning was also available from baseline. RESULTS: The authors found no association between the three studied polymorphisms and depression. Female gender, higher diastolic blood pressure, poorer cognitive functioning, and smoking status at baseline were all associated with depression independently of antidepressant and NSAIDs use, age, ECG-established vascular disease, and the remaining vascular disease risk factors studied. CONCLUSIONS: This study found no association between late-life depression and three polymorphisms related to vascular disease. Depression was found to independently associated with smoking, female gender, poorer cognitive functioning, and higher diastolic blood pressure. Taken together, this study does not seem to support the notion of a specific link between the studied vascular risk factors or these vascular-related loci and late-life depression.


Journal article


Am J Geriatr Psychiatry

Publication Date





202 - 210


Age of Onset, Aged, Apolipoproteins E, Depression, Electrocardiography, Female, Gene Frequency, Humans, Male, Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A, Polymorphism, Genetic, Receptors, LDL, Vascular Diseases