Gernot Kriegshausera

Vienna University, Austria

Title: Serum lipid profiling in individuals with and without depression


Gernot Kriegshauser has completed his PhD in Biochemistry from University of Vienna and his MD from Medical University of Vienna and is currently specializing in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at the General Hospital Steyr. He has a strong track record in R&D from ViennaLab Diagnostics GmbH before he started his studies to become a general practitioner. He has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as anTechnical Consultant in Molecular Diagnostics for over 10 years.


Statement of the Problem: So far, studies on the association of serum lipid levels and depressive disorder are contradictory. Therefore, the objective of the this study was to investigate possible associations between serum lipid alterations in a large sample of well-characterized patients including men and women over a broad age range sub-grouped by the presence or absence of major depression.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A total of 246 participants aged between 18-70 years were recruited of whom 94 suffered from major depressive without any other psychiatric comorbidity. A total of 152 individuals with neither a depressive symptomatology nor a former history of psychiatric disorder served as healthy controls. All study participants filled out the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) questionnaire and were investigated for their complete lipid status (i.e., triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL/HDL-cholesterol).

Findings: 94 patients with major depression showed significantly higher median (interquartile range) serum triglyceride levels (108.0 [75.8-154.1] vs. 84.0 [63.0-132.2] mg/dL, p=0.014) and significantly lower HDL-cholesterol levels (55.0 [46.9-123.0] vs. 61.5 [47.4-72.6] mg/dL, p=0.049) compared to 152 individuals without depression. Significant positive correlation was found between triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations and the BDI-II score (p=0.027, 0.048 and 0.018).

Conclusion & Significance: Depressive individuals were found with adverse serum lipid patterns of higher triglycerides and lower HDL-cholesterol levels compared to healthy controls. On this basis, the authors would suggest the implementation of routine serum lipid measurements in order to stratify these patients by their cardiovascular risk.