Ann Occup Environ Med.  2019 ;31(1):e10. 10.35371/aoem.2019.31.e10.

Association between depression and cardiovascular disease risk in general population of Korea: results from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2016

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Korea Workers' Compensation & Welfare Service Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Korea.


Depression is considered as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated with changes in individuals' health status that might influence CVD risk. However, most studies have scrutinized this relationship on a rather narrower and specific study population. By focusing on general population of Korea, we sought to inspect the association of depression with CVD risk and cardiovascular risk factors.
The data from the first year (2016) of the 7th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used. Participants were classified by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score as such: normal group (PHQ-9 score 0-4), mild depression (MD) group (PHQ-9 score 5-9) and moderate and severe depression (MSD) group (PHQ-9 score 10-27). General linear model was used to analyze differences and the trend of mean CVD risk according to depression level. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) were calculated by logistic regression to identify the association between depression and cardiovascular risk factors after adjusting for age.
Mean CVD risk of MSD group was higher than that of normal group (p < 0.05). There was a tendency of CVD risk to increase as depression worsened (p < 0.01). Among men, MSD group was associated with current smoking (AOR, 2.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.78-4.97), taking antihypertensive medications (AOR, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.26-4.66), increased fasting blood sugar (> 125 mg/dL; AOR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.25-4.50) and taking diabetes medications (AOR, 3.08; 95% CI, 1.65-5.72). MD group was associated with current smoking (AOR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.18-2.17). Among women, MSD group was associated with high body mass index (≥ 25 kg/m2; AOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.11-2.32), large waist circumference (≥ 85 cm; AOR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.12-2.37), current smoking (AOR, 5.11; 95% CI, 3.07-8.52) and taking diabetes medications (AOR, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.68-4.08). MD group was associated with current smoking (AOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.18-2.93).
We suggest that depression is associated with increased risk for CVD occurrence in general population of Korea.


Depression; PHQ-9; Cardiovascular diseases; Cardiovascular risk factors; Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

MeSH Terms

Blood Glucose
Body Mass Index
Cardiovascular Diseases*
Linear Models
Logistic Models
Nutrition Surveys*
Odds Ratio
Risk Factors
Waist Circumference
Blood Glucose
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