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Original Research

Metabolic Syndrome Predisposes to Depressive Symptoms: A Population-Based 7-Year Follow-Up Study

Hannu Koponen, MD, PhD; Jari Jokelainen, MSc; Sirkka Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, MD, PhD; Esko Kumpusalo, MD, PhD; and Mauno Vanhala, MD, PhD

Published: February 14, 2008

Article Abstract

Objective: Previous cross-sectional studies have suggested that patients with depression have a high risk for metabolic syndrome. As there is a paucity of data concerning the temporal relationship of depression and metabolic syndrome, we decided to evaluate the risk for developing depressive symptoms in patients with metabolic syndrome in a population-based follow-up study.

Method: The prevalence of depressive symptoms and metabolic syndrome at baseline in 1998 and at 7-year follow-up in 2004/2005 was studied in a large, middle-aged, population-based sample collected from Central Finland. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory, with a cutoff score of 10 points. Metabolic syndrome was assessed using the modified National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria.

Results: Nondepressed women and men with metabolic syndrome at baseline were twice as likely to have depressive symptoms at follow-up (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1 to 4.5 for women; OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 0.8 to 5.9 for men) as compared with the nondepressed cohort members without metabolic syndrome at baseline.

Conclusions: The higher rate of depressive symptoms in the subgroup with metabolic syndrome suggests that the metabolic syndrome may be an important predisposing factor for the development of depression. Effective prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome could also be important for the prevention of depression.

Volume: 69

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