Thicker carotid intima layer, thinner media layer and higher intima/media ratio in women with recurrent depressive disorders: A pilot study using non-invasive high frequency ultrasound

Hannes Bohman, Ulf Jonsson, Anne-Liis Von Knorring, Lars Von Knorring, Gunilla Olsson, Aivar Päären, Marita Larsson, Tord Naessen
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry2010
Objectives: Growing evidence indicates that depression is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease. Thus, the aim of the present study has been to investigate if young women with adolescent onset and recurrent depressive disorders have signs of carotid intima and media changes already at the age of 30. Methods: Fifteen subjects with adolescent onset recurrent depressive disorders, mean age 331.5 years, were compared to 20 healthy women with a mean age of 39.6 years. The thickness of the carotid artery intima and media was assessed, using non-invasive high-frequency ultrasound (25MHz). Results: the subjects with recurrent depressive disorders had significantly thicker carotid intima, significantly thinner carotid media and significantly higher intima/media ratio despite the fact that they were about 10 years younger than the healthy women. Hypertension, obesity or smoking could not explain the results. Conclusion: Already at the age of 30, subjects with recurrent depressive disorders with adolescent onset do have early signs of carotid intima and media changes, indicating a less healthy artery wall, despite otherwise no clinical signs of cardiovascular disease.

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