Author(s): Gennip ACE, Sedaghat S, Carnethon MR, Allen NB, Klein BEK, Cotch MF, Chirinos DA, Stehouwer CDA, van Sloten TT. Retinal Microvascular Calibers and Incident Depressive Symptoms: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Oct 15. pii: kwab255. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwab255. [Epub ahead of print] PMID 34652423
Journal: American Journal Of Epidemiology, Oct 2021
Cerebral microvascular dysfunction may contribute to depression via disruption of brain structures involved in mood regulation, but evidence is limited. The retina allows for visualisation of a microvascular bed that shares similarities with the cerebral microvasculature. We investigated the association between baseline retinal arteriolar and venular calibers (CRAE and CRVE) and incident depressive symptoms in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). We used longitudinal data of 4,366 participants (63.2 years/48.5% women/28.4% black) without baseline depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms, defined as Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score ≥16 and/or antidepressant medication use, were determined between 2002-2004 (baseline, MESA visit 2) and at three follow-up examinations every 1.5-2 years thereafter. Fundus photography was performed at baseline. After a mean follow-up of 6.1 years, 21.9% (n=958) had incident depressive symptoms. After adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle and cardiovascular factors, one standard deviation (SD) larger baseline CRVE was associated with a higher risk of depressive symptoms (hazard ratio:1.10; 95% confidence interval:1.02,1.17), and one SD larger baseline CRAE was not statistically significantly associated with incident depressive symptoms (1.04;0.97,1.11). In conclusion, larger baseline CRVE, but not CRAE, is associated with a higher incidence of depressive symptoms.