Metabolic health, obesity and depressive symptoms: is there a link?

  • Slater N & al.
  • BMJ Open
  • 28 Dec 2018

  • curated by Antara Ghosh
  • UK Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • After adjusting for covariates, neither poor metabolic health nor obesity was associated with risk for depressive symptoms at the end of 2-year follow-up in a prospective study of English population.
  • Lower wealth and baseline depression were strong predictors of risk for depressive symptoms at 2-year follow-up.

Why this matters

  • Previous reports examining associations between metabolic health, obesity and depression are conflicting.
  • Wealth inequalities continue to rise across England.

Study design

  • Prospective study evaluated 6804 participants (mean age, 67.6 years) who participated in English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Wave 6 (2012-2013) and Wave 7 (2014-2015).
  • A score ≥4 in Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression depicted elevated depressive symptoms.
  • Presence of ≥2 metabolic risk factors defined poor metabolic health.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • At follow-up, 12.5% participants had elevated depressive symptoms.
  • After adjusting for covariates, no association was observed between poor metabolic health and depressive symptoms (aOR, 1.17; P=.07).
  • Similarly, obesity was not associated with depressive symptoms after adjusting for covariates (aOR, 1.19; P=.06).
  • Individuals in the highest vs lowest (aOR, 0.31; P<.01 wealth quintiles were less likely to experience depressive symptoms.>
  • Baseline depression (aOR, 10.59; P<.01 was a strong predictor of future depression.>

Limitations

  • Findings generalisable to the English population.
  • Only respondents aged >50 years were included.