Vascular Nutritional Correlates of Late-Life Depression

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 10/2006; 14(9):787-95. DOI: 10.1097/01.JGP.0000203168.28872.21
Source: PubMed


The authors sought to examine the association of vascular nutritional factors and depression in an elderly cohort of depression (currently and recently depressed) and comparison (never depressed) subjects.
Nutrient intake over the past year was assessed in 196 elderly depression and comparison individuals with a Block 1998 food-frequency questionnaire. Nutrient intake, body mass index, and Keys score (a measure of the serum cholesterol-raising capacity of the diet) were determined. Subjects were age 60 and over and were participants in a longitudinal study of major depression. All subjects received psychiatric and medical comorbidity assessments; depression subjects also received psychiatric treatment.
Vascular nutritional factors differed between depression and comparison subjects. The depression group had higher intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, higher body mass indices, lower alcohol intake, and higher Keys score than the comparison group. After controlling for age, sex, education, race, and medical comorbidity, associations remained for cholesterol, alcohol, and Keys score. Depression was found to be associated with overall dietary pattern as defined by total kilocalories, saturated fat, cholesterol, body mass index, polyunsaturated fat, sodium, and alcohol.
This study provides evidence that dietary vascular risk factors differ in individuals with current or prior depression when compared with individuals with no history of depression.

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    • "Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between nutritional factors and mood; however, few have examined depression in the elderly and even fewer of the depression studies have focused on factors known to affect vascular disease. In a previous study, we reported that elderly depressed individuals were more likely than never-depressed comparison subjects to consume a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, while having a higher body mass index (BMI) (Payne et al., 2006). "
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