Quality of Life in Carotid Atherosclerosis: The Role of Co-morbid Mood Disorders

Maria Lecca1, Luca Saba2, Roberto Sanfilippo3, Elisa Pintus1, Michela Cadoni1, Federica Sancassiani1, Maria Francesca Moro1, Davide Craboledda3, Chiara Lo Giudice3, Roberto Montisci3, *
1 Department of Public Health and Clinical and Molecular Medicine and Center for Liaison Psychiatry and Psychoso-mathics, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria (A.O.U.), di Cagliari, Italy
2 Department of Radiology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria (A.O.U.), di Cagliari, Italy
3 Department of Surgical Sciences, Università di Cagliari, Italy

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© Lecca et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Università di Cagliari, SS554, Bivio Sestu, 09142 Monserrato CA, Italy; Tel: +39 0706753161; E-mail:



To study in severe carotid atherosclerosis (CA): the frequency of mood disorders (MD); the impairment of quality of life (QoL); the role of co-morbid MD in such impairment.


Case-control study. Cases: consecutive in-patients with CA (stenosis ≥ 50%). Controls: subjects with no diagnosis of CA randomized from a database of a community survey. Psychiatric diagnosis according to DSM-IV made by clinicians and semi-structured interview, QoL measured by the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12).


This is the first study on comorbidity on CA disease and MD in which psychiatric diagnoses are conducted by clinicians according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (17.4% vs 2.72%, P <0.0001) but not Bipolar Disorders (BD) (4.3% vs 0.5%, P = 0.99) was higher in cases (N=46) than in controls (N= 184). SF-12 scores in cases were lower than in controls (30.56±8.12 vs 36.81±6:40; p <0.001) with QoL comparable to serious chronic diseases of the central nervous system. The burden of a concomitant MDD or BD amplifies QoL impairment.


Comorbid MD aggravates the impairment of QoL in CA. Unlike autoimmune diseases or degenerative diseases of the Central Nervous System, CA shows a strong risk of MDD than BD.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder, carotid atherosclerosis, major depressive disorder, mood disorders, quality of life.