Metabolic Syndrome and Onset of Depressive Symptoms in the Elderly

April 2011
Diabetes Care;Apr2011, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p904
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE--Given the increasing prevalence of both metabolic syndrome (MetS) and depressive symptoms during old age, we aimed to examine prospectively the association between MetS and the onset of depressive symptoms according to different age-groups in a large, general elderly population. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS--This was a prospective cohort study of 4,446 men and women aged 65-91 years who were free of depression or depressive symptoms at baseline (the Three-City Study, France). MetS was defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. New onset of depressive symptoms (the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score ≥16 and use of antidepressant treatment) was assessed at 2- and 4-year follow-ups. RESULTS--After adjusting for a large range of potential confounders, we observed MetS to be associated with 1.73-fold (95% CI 1.02-2.95) odds for new-onset depressive symptoms in the youngest age-group (65-70 years at baseline), independently of cardiovascular diseases. No such association was seen in older age-groups. CONCLUSIONS--Our findings suggest that the link between MetS and depressive symptoms evidenced until now in middle-aged people can be extended to older adults but not to the oldest ones. Additional research is needed to examine if a better management of MetS prevents depressive symptoms in people aged 65-70 years.


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