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Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Feb 23;6:e743. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.5.

Oxidative stress, anti-oxidants and the cross-sectional and longitudinal association with depressive symptoms: results from the CARDIA study.

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Department of Psychiatry, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


Depression may be accompanied by increased oxidative stress and decreased circulating anti-oxidants. This study examines the association between depressive symptoms, F2-isoprostanes and carotenoids in a US community sample. The study includes 3009 participants (mean age 40.3, 54.2% female) from CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults). Cross-sectional analyses were performed on data from the year 15 examination (2000-2001) including subjects whose depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and had measurements of plasma F2-isoprostanes (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) or serum carotenoids (high-performance liquid chromatography). Carotenoids zeaxanthin/lutein, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α-carotene, β-carotene were standardized and summed. Longitudinal analyses were conducted using the data from other examinations at 5-year intervals. Cross-lagged analyses investigated whether CES-D predicted F2-isoprostanes or carotenoids at the following exam, and vice versa. Regression analyses were controlled for sociodemographics, health and lifestyle factors. F2-isoprostanes were higher in subjects with depressive symptoms (CES-D ⩾ 16) after adjustment for sociodemographics (55.7 vs 52.0 pg ml(-1); Cohen's d = 0.14, P < 0.001). There was no difference in F2-isoprostanes after further adjustment for health and lifestyle factors. Carotenoids were lower in those with CES-D scores ⩾ 16, even after adjustment for health and lifestyle factors (standardized sum 238.7 vs 244.0, Cohen's d = -0.16, P < 0.001). Longitudinal analyses confirmed that depression predicts subsequent F2-isoprostane and carotenoid levels. Neither F2-isoprostanes nor carotenoids predicted subsequent depression. In conclusion, depressive symptoms were cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with increased F2-isoprostanes and decreased carotenoids. The association with F2-isoprostanes can largely be explained by lifestyle factors, but lower carotenoids were independently associated with depressive symptoms.

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