Objectives: To test the "vascular depression" hypothesis, the authors investigated whether smaller retinal arteriolar or larger venular calibers, which are markers of cerebral microvascular disease, were associated with incident late-life depression. Methods: The authors included 3,605 participants (age ≥55 years) from the population-based Rotterdam Study with no depression at baseline (1993-1995) and fundus photographs gradable for retinal vascular caliber measurements. The authors identified persons with incident depressive symptoms and syndromes using psychiatric interviews during follow-up visits and continuous monitoring. The follow-up was complete until October 2005. Results: After a mean follow-up of 9.0 years, 555 participants developed incident depression, including 312 with depressive syndrome. Neither smaller arteriolar (age-and sex-adjusted hazard ratio: 1.01; 95% confidence interval: 0.93-1.10), nor larger venular calibers (hazard ratio: 1.02; 95% confidence interval: 0.94-1.12) were associated with incident depressive syndromes. Conclusions: Our data showed no evidence of an association between retinal vascular calibers and incident late-life depression.

Cerebrovascular disease, Depression, Epidemiology, Retinal microcirculation
dx.doi.org/10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181d69250, hdl.handle.net/1765/28279
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ikram, M.K, Luijendijk, H.J, Hofman, A, de Jong, P.T.V.M, Breteler, M.M.B, Vingerling, J.R, & Tiemeier, H.W. (2010). Retinal vascular calibers and risk of late-life depression: The rotterdam study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18(5), 452–455. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181d69250