Depression: An important comorbidity with metabolic syndrome in a general population

James A. DUNBAR, Prasuna REDDY, Nathalie DAVIS-LAMELOISE, Bemjamin PHILPOT, Tiina LAATIKAINEN, Annamari KILKKINEN, Stephen J. BUNKER, James D. BEST, Erkki VARTIAINEN, Sing Kai LO, Edward D. JANUS

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OBJECTIVE—There is a recognized association among depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to examine in a sample representative of the general population whether depression, anxiety, and psychological distress are associated with metabolic syndrome and its components.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Three cross-sectional surveys including clinical health measures were completed in rural regions of Australia during 2004–2006. A stratified random sample (n = 1,690, response rate 48%) of men and women aged 25–84 years was selected from the electoral roll. Metabolic syndrome was defined by the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults, Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Anxiety and depression were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and psychological distress by the Kessler 10 measure.

RESULTS—Metabolic syndrome was associated with depression but not psychological distress or anxiety. Participants with the metabolic syndrome had higher scores for depression (n = 409, mean score 3.41, 95% CI 3.12–3.70) than individuals without the metabolic syndrome (n = 936, mean 2.95, 95% CI 2.76–3.13). This association was also present in 338 participants with the metabolic syndrome and without diabetes (mean score 3.37, 95% CI 3.06–3.68). Large waist circumference and low HDL cholesterol showed significant and independent associations with depression.

CONCLUSIONS—Our results show an association between metabolic syndrome and depression in a heterogeneous sample. The presence of depression in individuals with the metabolic syndrome has implications for clinical management. Copyright © 2008 by the American Diabetes Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2368-2373
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


Dunbar, J. A., Reddy, P., Davis-Lameloise, N., Philpot, B., Laatikainen, T., Kilkkinen, A., . . . Janus, E. D. (2008). Depression: An important comorbidity with metabolic syndrome in a general population. Diabetes Care, 31(12), 2368-2373. doi: 10.2337/dc08-0175


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