Chae WR, Baumert J, Nübel J, Brasanac J, Gold SM, Hapke U, Otte C.

Inflammation and metabolic dysregulations are likely to underlie atypical, energy-related depressive symptoms such as appetite and sleep alterations. Indeed, increased appetite was previously identified as a core symptom of an immunometabolic subtype of depression. The aim of this study was 1) to replicate the associations between individual depressive symptoms and immunometabolic markers, 2) to extend previous findings with additional markers, and 3) to evaluate the relative contribution of these markers to depressive symptoms. We analyzed data from 266 persons with major depressive disorder (MDD) in the last 12 months from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults and its mental health module. Diagnosis of MDD and individual depressive symptoms were determined by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Associations were analyzed using multivariable regression models, adjusting for depression severity, sociodemographic/behavioral variables, and medication use. Increased appetite was associated with higher body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), insulin, and lower high-density lipoprotein. In contrast, decreased appetite was associated with lower BMI, WC, and fewer metabolic syndrome (MetS) components. Insomnia was associated with higher BMI, WC, number of MetS components, triglycerides, insulin, and lower albumin, while hypersomnia was associated with higher insulin. Suicidal ideation was associated with higher number of MetS components, glucose, and insulin. None of the symptoms were associated with C-reactive protein after adjustment. Appetite alterations and insomnia were most important symptoms associated with metabolic markers. Longitudinal studies should investigate whether the candidate symptoms identified here are predicted by or predict the development of metabolic pathology in MDD.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2023 Mar 24;71:25-40

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