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Original Research

An Association Between the Inflammatory Biomarker GlycA and Depressive Symptom Severity

Samara Huckvalea; Stephanie Reyes, MAa; Alexandra Kulikova, MSa; Anand Rohatgi, MDb; Kayla A. Riggs, MDb; and E. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhDa,*

Published: November 17, 2020

Article Abstract

Objective: The underlying mechanisms of depression remain unclear; however, current literature suggests a relationship between inflammation and depression. The association between the inflammatory biomarker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and depression has been previously investigated, but the relationship between GlycA, a novel spectroscopic inflammatory biomarker, and depression does not appear to have been examined.

Methods: Data were obtained from The Dallas Heart Study (DHS, conducted between 2000 and 2002), which consisted of a large community-based sample of Dallas County residents (N = 3,033). Depressive symptom severity was assessed with the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report (QIDS-SR). It was hypothesized that the serum GlycA level would be a statistically significant predictor of QIDS-SR scores after control for demographic covariates. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the relationship between GlycA level and QIDS-SR scores. The role of hs-CRP in predicting QIDS-SR scores was also explored.

Results: GlycA level was a statistically significant positive predictor of QIDS-SR score (β = .053, P = .038) with control for sex, age, antidepressant use, ethnicity, smoking status, drinking status, body mass index, and years of education. In a subset of adults with moderate-to-severe depression, GlycA level was not associated with QIDS-SR scores. Additionally, hs-CRP level was not a statistically significant predictor of QIDS-SR scores.

Conclusions: This study found a positive association between the inflammatory biomarker GlycA, but not hs-CRP, and depressive symptom severity in a large multiethnic and multiracial community-based sample. Thus, these results provide the first indication that GlycA may be a potentially useful novel biomarker of depression.

Volume: 82

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