Clinical studies suggest that vascular depression presents with typical symptom patterns. The aim of the present study is to examine whether depressed older persons in the open population with and without vascular disease show different symptom patterns. In the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), a depressed cohort with (n=114) and without (n=292) vascular disease was identified. Depression was measured using self-reports (CES-D). Vascular disease was confirmed or ruled out using a combination of self-reported data, medication use and reports from general practitioners. No significant differences were found in depressive symptom patterns, in symptom clusters nor individual items of the CES-D. Depressed subjects with vascular disease showed much more disability than those without vascular disease. Age of onset of depression did not show statistically significant difference. From our study in the open population, there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that depressed older persons with vascular disease have a distinct depressive symptom profile, but they do show more disability.