Depressive Symptoms and Incident Heart Failure in the Jackson Heart Study: Differential Risk Among Black Men and Women

Allison E. Gaffey, Casey E. Cavanagh, Lindsey Rosman, Kaicheng Wang, Yanhong Deng, Mario Sims, Emily C. O’brien, Alanna M. Chamberlain, Robert J. Mentz, Láshauntá M. Glover, Matthew M. Burg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Associations between depression, incident heart failure (HF), and mortality are well documented in predomi-nately White samples. Yet, there are sparse data from racial minorities, including those who are women, and depression is underrecognized and undertreated in the Black population. Thus, we examined associations between baseline depressive symptoms, incident HF, and all-cause mortality across 10 years. METHODS AND RESULTS: We included Jackson Heart Study (JHS) participants with no history of HF at baseline (n=2651; 63.9% women; median age, 53 years). Cox proportional hazards models tested if the risk of incident HF or mortality differed by clini-cally significant depressive symptoms at baseline (Center for Epidemiological Studies– Depression scores ≥16 versus <16). Models were conducted in the full sample and by sex, with hierarchical adjustment for demographics, HF risk factors, and lifestyle factors. Overall, 538 adults (20.3%) reported high depressive symptoms (71.0% were women), and there were 181 cases of HF (cumulative incidence, 0.06%). In the unadjusted model, individuals with high depressive symptoms had a 43% greater risk of HF (P=0.035). The association remained with demographic and HF risk factors but was attenuated by lifestyle factors. All-cause mortality was similar regardless of depressive symptoms. By sex, the unadjusted association between depressive symptoms and HF remained for women only (P=0.039). The fully adjusted model showed a 53% greater risk of HF for women with high depressive symptoms (P=0.043). CONCLUSIONS: Among Black adults, there were sex-specific associations between depressive symptoms and incident HF, with greater risk among women. Sex-specific management of depression may be needed to improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere022514
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • depression
  • heart failure
  • lifestyle
  • race
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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