ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to evaluate the possible association between low levels of serum cholesterol and depression in the elderly.
The alteration of cholesterol content of synoptosomal membrane in response to low serum cholesterol levels has been shown to decrease the serotonin receptors in depressed patients. Previous studies suggest that low levels of serum cholesterol may be associated with the increased risk of depression in the elderly.
This was a cross-sectional study where 189 subjects over 65 years old of both sexes were enrolled. Serum total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides were measured. Cognitive functions were evaluated with mini mental state examination survey (MMSES) and depression was assessed with Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I).
Of the 189 subjects, 42 were affected by depression. Low serum cholesterol level (cut-off < or =160 mg/dl) as well as the levels of HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides were not associated with depression in older men or women.
In the present cross sectional study, there was no association between depression and low serum cholesterol levels after adjusted for confounding factors. Further studies are needed to clarify this suggestion with larger number of patients.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 04/2004; 19(3):291-6. · 2.42 Impact Factor