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J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):273-8. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Changes in plasma cholesterol in mood disorder patients: does treatment make a difference?

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University of Calgary, Airport Business Center, 2000 Pegasus Road NE, Calgary Alberta, Canada T2E 8K7.



To examine the impact of treatment in patients with acute episodes of major depressive (MD) and manic or hypomanic (M/HM) episodes and co-morbid generalized anxiety symptoms, on the total cholesterol blood levels (TC).


A consenting series of patients with acute episodes of DSM IV-R confirmed diagnosis of MD or M/H were included. Subjects were treated with antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or both. The Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D21), the modified mania rating scale (MMRS), and the Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A) were utilized to evaluate clinical symptoms. Blood samples were drawn for TC estimations after 10 h of fasting on two occasions over time. The first sample was taken before treatment was started, and the second 4 weeks after treatment. The relationship between changes in TC and the severity of psychiatric symptoms, as measured on HAM-D, MMRS, and the HAM-A, were analysed.


56 subjects (34 with MD and 22 with M/HM episodes) completed the study. About 4 weeks after treatment there was a statistically significant increase in the TC in patients with MD versus a significant decrease in patients with M/HM episodes.


Our results replicate earlier reports of significant increase in the cholesterol levels in depressed patients after treatment. We report a significant decrease of TC levels in M/HM episodes with treatment. Although the results in previous reports and in our study are statistically significant, their clinical significance requires further examination in longer-term studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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