BACKGROUND: Behavioral factors are important in disease incidence and mortality and may explain associations between mortality and various psychological traits.
PURPOSE: These analyses investigated the impact of behavioral factors on the associations between depression, hostility and cardiovascular disease(CVD) incidence, CVD mortality, and all-cause mortality.
METHODS: Data from the PRIME Study (N = 6953 men) were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards models, following adjustment for demographic and biological CVD risk factors, and other psychological traits, including social support.
RESULTS: Following initial adjustment, both depression and hostility were significantly associated with both mortality outcomes (smallest SHR = 1.24, p < 0.001). Following adjustment for behavioral factors, all relationships were attenuated both when accounting for and not accounting for other psychological variables. Associations with all-cause mortality remained significant (smallest SHR = 1.14, p = 0.04). Of the behaviors included, the most significant contribution to outcomes was found for smoking, but a role was also found for fruit and vegetable intakes and high alcohol consumption.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate well-known associations between depression, hostility, and mortality and suggest the potential importance of behaviors in explaining these relationships.