Association between depressive symptoms and metabolic syndrome is not explained by antidepressant medication: Results from the PPP-Botnia Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction. To study whether the frequently reported association between depressive symptoms and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its individual components are secondary to the use of antidepressant medication and to established diabetes or cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Patients and methods. A population-based, random sample of 4,967 women and men aged 18-75 years. MetS was defined according to the new, harmonized criteria. Glucose tolerance was assessed by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). CVD, depressive symptoms, and use of antidepressant medication were self-reported. Results. The odds for having the MetS increased over 10% for each standard deviation increase in depressive symptoms. Users of antidepressant medication had more than 50% increased odds for having the MetS. Depressive symptoms were also associated with higher glucose response during the OGTT, higher serum triglyceride and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations, and higher waist circumference, while use of antidepressant medication was associated with higher triglycerides, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure. The associations of depressive symptoms were not secondary to use of antidepressant medication and were not explained by established diabetes or CVD. Discussion. Depressive symptoms, the MetS, and the individual components of MetS are related. These associations are not driven by use of antidepressant medication, established diabetes, or CVD.


  • Antti-Jussi Pyykkonen
  • Katri Raikkonen
  • Tiinamaija Tuomi
  • Johan G. Eriksson
  • Leif Groop
  • Bo Isomaa
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Antidepressive agents, depression, metabolic syndrome
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch