Assessing the associations between mental disorders, cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease : the CoLaus/PsyCoLaus study
Background: Cardio-vascular diseases (CVD), their well established risk factors (CVRF) and mental disorders are common and co-occur more frequently than would be expected by chance. However, the pathogenic mechanisms and course determinants of both CVD and mental disorders have only been partially identified.
Methods/Design: Comprehensive follow-up of CVRF and CVD with a psychiatric exam in all subjects who participated in the baseline cross-sectional CoLaus study (2003-2006) (n=6'738) which also included a comprehensive genetic assessment. The somatic investigation will include a shortened questionnaire on CVRF, CV events and new CVD since baseline and measurements of the same clinical and biological variables as at baseline. In addition, pro-inflammatory markers, persistent pain and sleep patterns and disorders will be assessed. In the case of a new CV event, detailed information will be abstracted from medical records. Similarly, data on the cause of death will be collected from the Swiss National Death Registry. The comprehensive psychiatric investigation of the CoLaus/PsyCoLaus study will use contemporary epidemiological methods including semi-structured diagnostic interviews, experienced clinical interviewers, standardized diagnostic criteria including threshold according to DSM-IV and sub-threshold syndromes and supplementary information on risk and protective factors for disorders. In addition, screening for objective cognitive impairment will be performed in participants older than 65 years.
Discussion: The combined CoLaus/PsyCoLaus sample provides a unique opportunity to obtain prospective data on the interplay between CVRF/CVD and mental disorders, overcoming limitations of previous research by bringing together a comprehensive investigation of both CVRF and mental disorders as well as a large number of biological variables and a genome-wide genetic assessment in participants recruited from the general population.