The vascular depression subtype: evidence of internal validity.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Vascular depression has been proposed as a unique diagnostic subtype in late life, yet no study has evaluated whether the specified clinical features associated with the illness are jointly indicative of an underlying diagnostic class. METHODS: We applied latent class analysis to two independent clinical samples: the prospective, cohort design, Neurocognitive Outcomes of Depression in the Elderly (NCODE) study and the 8-week, multicenter, double blind, placebo-controlled Old-Old study. RESULTS: A two-class model consisting of vascular and nonvascular depressed patients provided an excellent fit to the data in both studies, chi(2)(6) = 2.02, p = .90 in the NCODE study and chi(2)(6) = 7.024, p = .32 in the Old-Old study. Although all of the proposed features of vascular depression were useful in identifying the illness, deep white matter lesion burden emerged with perfect sensitivity (1.00) and near-perfect specificity (.95), making it the only indicator necessary to determine class membership. CONCLUSIONS: These findings, replicated across two independent clinical samples, provide the first support for the internal validity of vascular depression as a subtype of late-life depression.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sneed, JR; Rindskopf, D; Steffens, DC; Krishnan, KRR; Roose, SP

Published Date

  • September 15, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 491 - 497

PubMed ID

  • 18490003

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18490003

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2402

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.03.032


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States