Objective.To examine the influence of anxious/depressed scores on cardiovascular risk factors throughout childhood.

Methods. Data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, a study of 2900 pregnancies recruited between 1989 and 1991, were used. Anxious-depressed scores (derived from the Childhood Behavior Checklist), body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure were measured at 5 (n=1681), 8 (n=1697), 10 (n=1575) and 14 (n=1386) years. At age 14 depressive symptom scores (Beck Depression Inventory for Youth), anxious-depressed scores (Youth Self-Report (YSR) and Teacher Report Form (TRF)) and fasting lipid, glucose and insulin were also available. Cross sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted.

Results.At age 14, girls with higher anxious-depressed scores had higher BMI (p≤0.005) and homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (p
≤0.0001). This equated to a difference of 0.6 kg/m2 and 0.3units in predicted BMI and HOMA-IR respectively (top 5% vs. score of zero). Boys with higher anxiousdepressed scores had lower systolic blood pressure trajectories (p=0.024).

Conclusion.Depressive scores appear to have differing influences on BMI, homeostasis model assessmentestimated insulin resistance and systolic blood pressure in boys and girls. Paradoxically boys with higher anxious-depressed scores had lower blood pressure throughout childhood.


Peer-reviewed, Lifestyle, depression, cardiovascular disease, risk factors, child, Raine study

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