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J Epidemiol Community Health doi:10.1136/jech-2012-201927
  • Research report

Common mental disorders and mortality in the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study: comparing the General Health Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

Open Access
  1. Michaela Benzeval1
  1. 1MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  3. 3MRC Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mary Kathleen Hannah, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK; m.hannah{at}sphsu.mrc.ac.uk
  • Received 11 September 2012
  • Revised 15 February 2013
  • Accepted 9 March 2013
  • Published Online First 29 March 2013

Abstract

Background While various measures of common mental disorders (CMD) have been found to be associated with mortality, a comparison of how different measures predict mortality may improve our understanding of the association. This paper compares how the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) predict all cause and cause-specific mortality.

Methods Data on 2547 men and women from two cohorts, aged approximately 39 and 55 years, from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study who were followed up for mortality over an average of 18.9 (SD 5.0) years. Scores were calculated for HADS depression (HADS-D), HADS Anxiety (HADS-A) and GHQ-30. Cox Proportional Hazards Models were used to determine how each CMD measure predicted mortality.

Results After adjusting for serious physical illness, smoking, social class, alcohol, obesity, pulse rate and living alone, HRs (95% CI) per SD increase in score for all-cause mortality were: 1.15 (1.07 to 1.25) for HADS-D; 1.13 (1.04 to 1.23) for GHQ-30 and 1.05 (0.96 to 1.14) for HADS-A. After the same adjustments, cardiovascular disease mortality was also related to HADS-D (HR 1.24 (1.07 to 1.43)), to GHQ-30 (HR 1.24 (1.11 to 1.40)) and to HADS-A (HR 1.15 (1.01 to 1.32)); respiratory mortality to GHQ-30 (HR 1.33 (1.13 to 1.55)) and mortality from other causes, excluding injuries, to HADS-D (HR 1.28 (1.05 to 1.55)).

Conclusions There were associations between CMD and both all-cause and cause-specific mortality which were broadly similar for GHQ-30 and HADS-D and were still present after adjustment for important confounders and mediators.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/legalcode

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