Abstract 13456: Depression is Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Prison Inmates
Background: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in prison inmates. Depression is a known predictor of cardiovascular disease in the general population. Inmates who are incarcerated and live in stressful conditions may have higher levels of depression than seen in the general population. Higher levels of depression in inmates may be one reason for the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in this population but this association has not been examined. The purpose of this study was to compare cardiovascular risk factors between depressed and non-depressed male inmates.
Method: Male inmates in 4 Kentucky medium security state prisons without major psychiatric comorbidity completed a physical exam including blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and lipid panel (high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, total cholesterol, triglyceride). Depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Patients were grouped by depressed (PHQ-9 score > 9) and non-depressed groups using the standard cut point of 9 on the PHQ-9 score.
Results: Of the 300 male inmates (mean age 36.3 ± 9.5 years; 63% white), 70 (23%) were depressed (PHQ-9 score > 9). Depressed inmates were older (38.7 ± 11 vs. 36.0 ± 9 years, p < .05) and had higher BMI (29.9 ± 5.9 vs. 27.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2, p < .01), higher waist circumference (38.9 vs. 36.4 inches, p< .01), lower levels of high density lipoprotein (34 ±12 vs. 38 ±12 mg/dL, p < .05) and higher levels of triglyceride (190 ± 130 vs.150 ± 102 mg/dL, p < .05) than non-depressed inmates. There were no significant differences in total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure between depressed and non-depressed groups.
Conclusion: The prevalence of depression in this sample of inmates was high. BMI, waist circumference, and levels of high density lipoprotein and triglycerides of depressed patients were indicative of increased cardiovascular disease risk. This study provides evidence that depression may play a role in increasing risk of cardiovascular disease in inmates. It would be beneficial to include management of depression in an intervention aimed at improving cardiovascular health in inmates.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.