Do self-reported stress and depressive symptoms effect endothelial function in healthy youth? The LOOK longitudinal study

Lisa S. Olive, Walter P. Abhayaratna, Don Byrne, Alice Richardson, Richard D. Telford

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    5 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background and aims: Endothelial dysfunction is thought to be an early indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease and has been associated with both stress and depression in adults and adolescents. Less is known of these relationships in younger populations, where the origins of CVD is thought to manifest. This study examined the effects of questionnaire derived psychosocial stress and depressive symptoms on endothelial function among children, following them through to adolescence. Method: Participants were 203 grade 2 children (111 girls; M age = 7.6 ± 0.3 years) from the LOOK longitudinal study, who were followed through to adolescence (16 years). Self-reported psychosocial stress and depression were assessed using the validated Children’s Stress Questionnaire and a modified and validated version of the Children’s Depression Inventory respectively; endothelial function was assessed using EndoPAT 2000 system at follow-up only; and adjustments were made for fitness, pubertal development and socioeconomic status. Results: Although all relationships occurred in the hypothesised direction, no cross-sectional or prospective evidence of early symptoms of psychological stress or depression being associated with endothelial dysfunction was found among our asymptomatic cohort of adolescents (all p > .05). Conclusions: In contrast to previous findings in adolescents, our data provided little evidence of any relationship between current or previous psychosocial stress or depression and endothelial function in 16-year-old boys and girls. However, our data need to be interpreted alongside the potential limitations in the sensitivity associated with self-report methods for detecting psychological distress of children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0196137
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2018


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