Longitudinal pathways from adolescent depressive symptoms to cardiovascular disease risk in adulthood


Park, H.; Kim, T.; & Kim, J. (2023). Longitudinal pathways from adolescent depressive symptoms to cardiovascular disease risk in adulthood. Soc Sci Med. vol. 318


RATIONALE: Despite existing literature on the impact of adolescent depressive symptoms on a variety of youth outcomes, little is known about whether and how adolescent depressive symptoms are associated with physical health in adulthood. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the longitudinal association between adolescent depressive symptoms and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in adulthood. An extensive list of potential mechanisms underlying this association, including health behaviors, substance use, academic effort and achievement, and school-based relationships, was also examined. METHODS: Using the sibling sample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 3011), this study employed sibling fixed-effects models to address unobservable family-level confounders, such as genetic factors, parental and familial characteristics, and school and neighborhood environments. RESULTS: Adolescent depressive symptoms were associated with an increased risk of CVD in about 13 years later (b = 0.698). Sibling fixed-effects estimates revealed that, despite some attenuation (approximately 31%), this association is robust to adjustment for unobserved family-level heterogeneity. Substance use and academic effort/achievement explained about 35% and 16% of the association between adolescent depressive symptoms and adult CVD risk, respectively. In contrast, health behaviors and school-based relationships played little or no role in mediating the association. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that policymakers and practitioners may wish to develop interventions to reduce adolescent depressive symptoms and to help adolescents with depressive symptoms avoid substance use and promote effort in school. Early interventions targeting adolescents with depressive symptoms may be a cost-effective strategy for preventing adult physical health problems.




cardiovascular disease risk



Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Soc Sci Med


Park, H.
Kim, T.
Kim, J.

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