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Metabolic Syndrome and Depression: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67:1422-1427

Objective: To examine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in depressive outpatients and to identify its correlates in depression.

Method: This cross-sectional analysis was performed on 121 depressive outpatients from January 2002 through January 2004 who were diagnosed at baseline with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. The metabolic syndrome was diagnosed at 6-year follow-up according to the modified criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program. The severity of depressive symptoms was assessed at follow-up with the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and general psychopathology was assessed with the Symptom Checklist-90.

Results: At 6-year follow-up, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the study group of depressive outpatients was 36% (N = 44). The syndrome was associated with a current diagnosis of major depression and overeating, but not with age or sex.

Conclusion: The metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent among patients with a history of depression, especially those with current major depression. This may have implications for treatment. Furthermore, attention should be focused on the physical health of those suffering from depression.