The association between depressive mood and ischemic heart disease: a twin study

M. K. Wium-Andersen, I. K. Wium-Andersen, M. B. Jørgensen, M. McGue, T. S.H. Jørgensen, K. Christensen, M. Osler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Individuals with mood disorders have increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The aims of this study were to evaluate if the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with mood disorder could be explained by shared genetic and early environmental factors. Methods: We included 6714 Danish middle and old aged twins from two large population-based studies. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to perform individual-level and intra-pair analyses of the association between self-reported depression symptomatology scores and register-based diagnoses of ischemic heart disease. Results: Higher depression symptomatology scores (both total, affective, and somatic) were associated with higher incidence of ischemic heart disease after multivariable adjustment in individual-level analyses. In intra-pair analyses, this association was similar but with slightly larger confidence intervals. There was no interaction with gender and no major differences between mono- or dizygotic twins. Within twin pairs, the twin scoring highest on depressive symptoms developed ischemic heart disease more often or earlier than the lower scoring twin. A sensitivity analysis including a 2-year time lag of depression symptomatology to limit the risk of reverse causality showed similar results. Conclusion: Genetic factors and early life environment do not seem to explain the association between depressive mood and ischemic heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all study participants and research staff for their participation in the two twin studies. This work was supported by the Lundbeck Foundation, the Danish Heart Foundation, Eva and Henry Fr?nkels Mindelegat, and the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The Danish Twin Registry has been supported by grants from The National Program for Research Infrastructure 2007 (09-063256) from the Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation, the Velux Foundation and the US National Institute of Health (P01 AG08761).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • depressive mood
  • ischemic heart disease
  • twin study


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