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PLoS One. 2008 Jan 2;3(1):e1392. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001392.

The association of depressive symptoms with inflammatory factors and adipokines in middle-aged and older Chinese.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.



Studies in Western populations find that depression is associated with inflammation and obesity. The present study aimed to evaluate the relation of depressive symptoms with inflammatory factors and adipose-derived adipokines in middle-aged and older Chinese.


Data were from 3289 community residents aged 50-70 from Beijing and Shanghai who participated in the Nutrition and Health of Aging Population in China project. Depressive symptoms were defined as a Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression Scale (CES-D) score of 16 or higher. Plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), adiponectin, resistin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) were measured. Of the 3289 participants, 312 (9.5%) suffered from current depressive symptoms. IL-6 level was higher in participants with depressive symptoms compared to their counterparts in the crude analyses (1.17 vs. 1.05 pg/mL, p = 0.023) and this association lost statistical significance after multiple adjustments (1.13 vs. 1.10 pg/mL, p = 0.520). Depressive symptoms were not associated with increased mean levels of any other inflammatory factors or adipokines in the unadjusted or adjusted analyses.


We found no evidence that depressive symptoms were associated with inflammatory factors and adipokines in the middle-aged and older Chinese populations. Prospective studies and studies in clinically diagnosed patients are needed to confirm our results and clarify the relation of depression with inflammatory factors and adipokines.

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