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Literature has shown that obesity, metabolic syndrome and inflammation are associated with depression, however, evidence suggests that these associations are specific to atypical depression. Which of the atypical symptoms are driving associations with obesity-related outcomes and inflammation is unknown. We evaluated associations between individual symptoms of depression (both atypical and non-atypical) and body mass index (BMI), metabolic syndrome components and inflammatory markers.
We included 808 persons with a current diagnosis of depression participating in the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (67% female, mean age 41.6 years). Depressive symptoms were derived from the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology. Univariable and multivariable regression analyses adjusting for sex, age, educational level, depression severity, current smoking, physical activity, anti-inflammatory medication use, and statin use were performed.
Increased appetite was positively associated with BMI, number of metabolic syndrome components, waist circumference, C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-α. Decreased appetite was negatively associated with BMI and waist circumference. Psychomotor retardation was positively associated with BMI, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and insomnia with number of metabolic syndrome components.
Increased appetite – in the context of a depressive episode – was the only symptom that was associated with both metabolic as well as inflammatory markers, and could be a key feature of an immuno-metabolic form of depression. This immuno-metabolic depression should be considered in clinical trials evaluating effectiveness of compounds targeting metabolic and inflammatory pathways or lifestyle interventions.
Several authors claimed that expression of suicidal ideation is one of the most important predictors of completed suicide. However, the strength of the association between suicidal ideation and subsequent completed suicide has not been firmly established in different populations. Furthermore, the absolute suicide risk after expression of suicidal ideation is unknown. In this meta-analysis, we examined whether the expression of suicidal ideation predicted subsequent completed suicide in various populations, including both psychiatric and non-psychiatric populations.
A meta-analysis of cohort and case–control studies that assessed suicidal ideation as determinant for completed suicide in adults. Two independent reviewers screened 5726 articles for eligibility and extracted data of the 81 included studies. Pooled risk ratios were estimated in a random effects model stratified for different populations. Meta-regression analysis was used to determine suicide risk during the first year of follow-up.
The risk for completed suicide was clearly higher in people who had expressed suicidal ideation compared with people who had not, with substantial variation between the different populations: risk ratio ranging from 2.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.87) in affective disorder populations to 8.00 (95% CI 5.46–11.7) in non-psychiatric populations. In contrast, the suicide risk after expression of suicidal ideation in the first year of follow-up was higher in psychiatric patients (risk 1.40%, 95% CI 0.74–2.64) than in non-psychiatric participants (risk 0.23%, 95% CI 0.10–0.54). Past suicide attempt-adjusted risk ratios were not pooled due to large underreporting.
Assessment of suicidal ideation is of priority in psychiatric patients. Expression of suicidal ideation in psychiatric patients should prompt secondary prevention strategies to reduce their substantial increased risk of suicide.
Data from the general population show higher prevalence of different anxiety disorders in women as compared with men. We analysed gender differences in a naturalistic sample of outpatients with anxiety disorders in a mental healthcare setting.
Routine outcome monitoring data were collected from 1333 patients (age: 18–65; 63.3% women) fulfilling Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV criteria of current anxiety disorder according to the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview between 2004 through 2006. Data included Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ). Chi-squared test and t-test were used to compare women with men for variables with parametric distributions, and Mann–Whitney test for non-parametric distribution. Adjustments for potential confounders (age, level of education, ethnicity and comorbidites) were made by logistic regression models (for discrete variables) or analysis of covariance.
The female-to-male ratio (i.e., 844 women, 489 men) for any anxiety disorder was 1.73 : 1 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.63–1.83), with the strongest skewness for post-traumatic stress disorder (2.80 : 1) and the smallest one for social phobia (1.18 : 1). Compared with men, women reported more severe self-rating scores on the BSI (on average, the scores were 12.3% higher on 3 of 9 subscales: somatisation, interpersonal sensitivity and anxiety), SF-36 (self-reported generic health status was lower on 5 of 8 subscales: physical functioning, social functioning, physical problems, vitality and bodily pain) and MASQ (on average, the scores were 6.6% higher on 4 of 5 subscales: anxious arousal, general distress, general distress depression, general distress anxiety). On the contrary, no gender difference was found in the severity of anxiety symptoms measured by the Brief Anxiety Scale. Women were more likely to suffer from comorbid depression and bulimia nervosa, and less likely from substance abuse.
In a treatment-seeking population the prevalence rate of anxiety disorders was 1.7 times higher in female compared with men. Female outpatients were more severely affected on self-rated but not on observer-rated scales.
Late-life depression may differ from early-life depression in its phenomenology.
To investigate the effect of age on the phenomenology of major depression.
A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO for all studies examining the relation between age and phenomenology of major depression according to RDC, DSM and ICD criteria. Studies were included only if the age groups were compared at the single-item level using the 17-, 21- or 24-item versions of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; a meta-analysis was done for each item of the 17-item scale.
Eleven papers met the inclusion criteria. Older depressed adults, compared with younger depressed adults, demonstrated more agitation, hypochondriasis and general as well as gastrointestinal somatic symptoms, but less guilt and loss of sexual interest.
The phenomenology of late-life depression differs only in part from that of early-life depression. Major depression in older people may have a more somatic presentation, whereas feelings of guilt and loss of sexual function may be more prevalent in younger people.
Pre-adult onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) may predict a more severe phenotype of depression. As data from naturalistic psychiatric specialty care settings are scarce, we examined phenotypic differences between pre-adult and adult onset MDD in a large sample of consecutive out-patients.
Altogether, 1552 out-patients, mean age 39.2±11.6 years, were diagnosed with current MDD on the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus diagnostic interview as part of the usual diagnostic procedure. A total of 1105 patients (71.2%) had complete data on all variables of interest. Pre-adult onset of MDD was defined as having experienced the signs and symptoms of a first major depressive episode before the age of 18 years. Patients were stratified according to the age at interview (20–40/40–65 years). Correlates of pre-adult onset were analysed using logistic regression models adjusted for age, age squared and gender.
Univariate analyses showed that pre-adult onset of MDD had a distinct set of demographic (e.g. less frequently living alone) and clinical correlates (more co-morbid DSM-IV – Text Revision diagnoses, more social phobia, more suicidality). In the multivariate model, we found an independent association only for a history of suicide attempts [odds ratio (OR) 3.15, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.97–5.05] and current suicidal thoughts (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.26–2.60) in patients with pre-adult versus adult onset MDD.
Pre-adult onset of MDD is associated with more suicidality than adult onset MDD. Age of onset of depression is an easy to ascertain characteristic that may help clinicians in weighing suicide risk.
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