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Psychiatry Res. 2007 May 30;151(1-2):159-62. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Serum cholesterol concentration and distress in the initial days after childbirth.

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  • 1National Health Service, Azienda ULSS nr.17 of Este, Consultorio familiare, Via Papa Giovanni XXIII nr.1, I-35043 Monselice (PD), Italy.


The link between mood disorders and cholesterol is characterized by some contradictory data. In particular, it is not clear whether health factors are responsible for lowered cholesterol levels and mood swings. The present study tests the association between serum cholesterol level and psychological distress in women in two different post-delivery hospital settings: rooming-in (RI) and no rooming-in (no-RI). On day 3 after childbirth, 147 RI and 209 no-RI women completed the Kellner Symptom Questionnaire (SQ), which evaluates anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms and hostility. Plasma cholesterol concentration was measured on the same day. There was a significant negative correlation between cholesterol and depressive symptoms in no-RI women, but not in the RI group. However, this correlation is characterized by an extremely small effect size (-0.15). The findings of this study cast further doubt on the hypothesis of a possible association between cholesterol and depression in the general population and in mothers who have just given birth.

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