What is the role of metabolic syndrome in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Several studies report an association between metabolic syndrome and depression. Vogelzangs et al suggest that later in life, waist circumference and not metabolic syndrome can predict onset of depression. Specifically, the larger the waistline, the higher the incidence of depression. [90] However, longitudinal studies have also shown that depression predicts subsequent obesity and centripetal obesity, likely because of poor diet, lack of exercise, and psychobiologic changes such as increased cortisol levels.

On the other hand, individuals with depression who have metabolic syndrome may simply be more likely to have persistent or recurrent depression. Thus, depression with metabolic abnormalities could be labeled metabolic depression, a possible chronic subtype of depression. [90]

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