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Childhood trauma (CT) has been cross-sectionally associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS), a group of biological risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Longitudinal studies, while rare, would clarify the development of cardiometabolic dysregulations over time. Therefore, we longitudinally investigated the association of CT with the 9-year course of MetS components.
Participants (N = 2958) from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety were assessed four times across 9 years. The CT interview retrospectively assessed childhood emotional neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Metabolic outcomes encompassed continuous MetS components (waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, blood pressure [BP], and glucose) and count of clinically elevated MetS components. Mixed-effects models estimated sociodemographic- and lifestyle-adjusted longitudinal associations of CT with metabolic outcomes over time. Time interactions evaluated change in these associations.
CT was reported by 49% of participants. CT was consistently associated with increased waist (b = 0.32, s.e. = 0.10, p = 0.001), glucose (b = 0.02, s.e. = 0.01, p < 0.001), and count of MetS components (b = 0.04, s.e. = 0.01, p < 0.001); and decreased HDL cholesterol (b = −0.01, s.e.<0.01, p = .020) and systolic BP (b = −0.33, s.e. = 0.13, p = 0.010). These associations were mainly driven by severe CT and unaffected by lifestyle. Only systolic BP showed a CT-by-time interaction, where CT was associated with lower systolic BP initially and with higher systolic BP at the last follow-up.
Over time, adults with CT have overall persistent poorer metabolic outcomes than their non-maltreated peers. Individuals with CT have an increased risk for cardiometabolic disease and may benefit from monitoring and early interventions targeting metabolism.
Childhood trauma (CT) may increase vulnerability to psychopathology through affective dysregulation (greater variability, autocorrelation, and instability of emotional symptoms). However, CT associations with dynamic affect fluctuations while considering differences in mean affect levels across CT status have been understudied.
346 adults (age = 49.25 ± 12.55, 67.0% female) from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety participated in ecological momentary assessment. Positive and negative affect (PA, NA) were measured five times per day for two weeks by electronic diaries. Retrospectively-reported CT included emotional neglect and emotional/physical/sexual abuse. Linear regressions determined associations between CT and affect fluctuations, controlling for age, sex, education, and mean affect levels.
Compared to those without CT, individuals with CT reported significantly lower mean PA levels (Cohen's d = −0.620) and higher mean NA levels (d = 0.556) throughout the two weeks. CT was linked to significantly greater PA variability (d = 0.336), NA variability (d = 0.353), and NA autocorrelation (d = 0.308), with strongest effects for individuals reporting higher CT scores. However, these effects were entirely explained by differences in mean affect levels between the CT groups. Findings suggested consistency of results in adults with and without lifetime depressive/anxiety disorders and across CT types, with sexual abuse showing the smallest effects.
Individuals with CT show greater affective dysregulation during the two-week monitoring of emotional symptoms, likely due to their consistently lower PA and higher NA levels. It is essential to consider mean affect level when interpreting the impact of CT on affect dynamics.
Depression is associated with metabolic alterations including lipid dysregulation, whereby associations may vary across individual symptoms. Evaluating these associations using a network perspective yields a more complete insight than single outcome-single predictor models.
We used data from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (N = 2498) and leveraged networks capturing associations between 30 depressive symptoms (Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology) and 46 metabolites. Analyses involved 4 steps: creating a network with Mixed Graphical Models; calculating centrality measures; bootstrapping for stability testing; validating central, stable associations by extra covariate-adjustment; and validation using another data wave collected 6 years later.
The network yielded 28 symptom-metabolite associations. There were 15 highly-central variables (8 symptoms, 7 metabolites), and 3 stable links involving the symptoms Low energy (fatigue), and Hypersomnia. Specifically, fatigue showed consistent associations with higher mean diameter for VLDL particles and lower estimated degree of (fatty acid) unsaturation. These remained present after adjustment for lifestyle and health-related factors and using another data wave.
The somatic symptoms Fatigue and Hypersomnia and cholesterol and fatty acid measures showed central, stable, and consistent relationships in our network. The present analyses showed how metabolic alterations are more consistently linked to specific symptom profiles.
The search for relevant biomarkers of major depressive disorder (MDD) is challenged by heterogeneity; biological alterations may vary in patients expressing different symptom profiles. Moreover, most research considers a limited number of biomarkers, which may not be adequate for tagging complex network-level mechanisms. Here we studied clusters of proteins and examined their relation with MDD and individual depressive symptoms.
The sample consisted of 1621 subjects from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA). MDD diagnoses were based on DSM-IV criteria and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology questionnaire measured endorsement of 30 symptoms. Serum protein levels were detected using a multi-analyte platform (171 analytes, immunoassay, Myriad RBM DiscoveryMAP 250+). Proteomic clusters were computed using weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA).
Six proteomic clusters were identified, of which one was nominally significantly associated with current MDD (p = 9.62E-03, Bonferroni adj. p = 0.057). This cluster contained 21 analytes and was enriched with pathways involved in inflammation and metabolism [including C-reactive protein (CRP), leptin and insulin]. At the individual symptom level, this proteomic cluster was associated with ten symptoms, among which were five atypical, energy-related symptoms. After correcting for several health and lifestyle covariates, hypersomnia, increased appetite, panic and weight gain remained significantly associated with the cluster.
Our findings support the idea that alterations in a network of proteins involved in inflammatory and metabolic processes are present in MDD, but these alterations map predominantly to clinical symptoms reflecting an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure.
A recent hypothesis postulates the existence of an ‘immune-metabolic depression’ (IMD) dimension characterized by metabolic dysregulations. Combining data on metabolomics and depressive symptoms, we aimed to identify depressions associated with an increased risk of adverse metabolic alterations.
Clustering data were from 1094 individuals with major depressive disorder in the last 6 months and measures of 149 metabolites from a 1H-NMR platform and 30 depressive symptoms (IDS-SR30). Canonical correlation analyses (CCA) were used to identify main independent metabolite-symptom axes of variance. Then, for the replication, we examined the association of the identified dimensions with metabolites from the same platform and cardiometabolic diseases in an independent population-based cohort (n = 6572).
CCA identified an overall depression dimension and a dimension resembling IMD, in which symptoms such as sleeping too much, increased appetite, and low energy level had higher relative loading. In the independent sample, the overall depression dimension was associated with lower cardiometabolic risk, such as (i.e. per s.d.) HOMA-1B −0.06 (95% CI −0.09 – −0.04), and visceral adipose tissue −0.10 cm2 (95% CI −0.14 – −0.07). In contrast, the IMD dimension was associated with well-known cardiometabolic diseases such as higher visceral adipose tissue 0.08 cm2 (95% CI 0.04–0.12), HOMA-1B 0.06 (95% CI 0.04–0.09), and lower HDL-cholesterol levels −0.03 mmol/L (95% CI −0.05 – −0.01).
Combining metabolomics and clinical symptoms we identified a replicable depression dimension associated with adverse metabolic alterations, in line with the IMD hypothesis. Patients with IMD may be at higher cardiometabolic risk and may benefit from specific treatment targeting underlying metabolic dysregulations.
In research and clinical practice, familial risk for depression and anxiety is often constructed as a simple Yes/No dichotomous family history (FH) indicator. However, this measure may not fully capture the liability to these conditions. This study investigated whether a continuous familial loading score (FLS), incorporating family- and disorder-specific characteristics (e.g. family size, prevalence of depression/anxiety), (i) is associated with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for major depression and with clinical/psychosocial vulnerabilities and (ii) still captures variation in clinical/psychosocial vulnerabilities after information on FH has been taken into account.
Data came from 1425 participants with lifetime depression and/or anxiety from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. The Family Tree Inventory was used to determine FLS/FH indicators for depression and/or anxiety.
Persons with higher FLS had higher PRS for major depression, more severe depression and anxiety symptoms, higher disease burden, younger age of onset, and more neuroticism, rumination, and childhood trauma. Among these variables, FH was not associated with PRS, severity of symptoms, and neuroticism. After regression out the effect of FH from the FLS, the resulting residualized measure of FLS was still associated with severity of symptoms of depression and anxiety, rumination, and childhood trauma.
Familial risk for depression and anxiety deserves clinical attention due to its associated genetic vulnerability and more unfavorable disease profile, and seems to be better captured by a continuous score that incorporates family- and disorder-specific characteristics than by a dichotomous FH measure.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
In 2009, the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for major depressive disorder (MDD) highlighted an association with PCLO locus on chromosome 7, although not reaching genome-wide significance level. In the present study, we revisited the original GWAS after increasing the overall sample size and the number of interrogated SNPs. In an analysis comparing 1,942 cases with lifetime diagnosis of MDD and 4,565 controls, PCLO showed a genome-wide significant association with MDD at SNP (rs2715157, p = 2.91 × 10−8) and gene-based (p = 1.48 × 10−7) level. Our results confirm the potential role of the PCLO gene in MDD, which is worth further replication and functional studies.
Research on gene×environment interaction in major depressive disorder (MDD) has thus far primarily focused on candidate genes, although genetic effects are known to be polygenic.
To test whether the effect of polygenic risk scores on MDD is moderated by childhood trauma.
The study sample consisted of 1645 participants with a DSM-IV diagnosis of MDD and 340 screened controls from The Netherlands. Chronic or remitted episodes (severe MDD) were present in 956 participants. The occurrence of childhood trauma was assessed with the Childhood Trauma Interview and the polygenic risk scores were based on genome-wide meta-analysis results from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.
The polygenic risk scores and childhood trauma independently affected MDD risk, and evidence was found for interaction as departure from both multiplicativity and additivity, indicating that the effect of polygenic risk scores on depression is increased in the presence of childhood trauma. The interaction effects were similar in predicting all MDD risk and severe MDD risk, and explained a proportion of variation in MDD risk comparable to the polygenic risk scores themselves.
The interaction effect found between polygenic risk scores and childhood trauma implies that (1) studies on direct genetic effect on MDD gain power by focusing on individuals exposed to childhood trauma, and that (2) individuals with both high polygenic risk scores and exposure to childhood trauma are particularly at risk for developing MDD.
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