Depressive symptoms and adipokines in women: Study of women's health across the nation

Susan Everson-Rose, Cari J Clark, Qi Wang, Hongfei Guo, Peter Mancuso, Howard M. Kravitz, Joyce T. Bromberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Small clinical studies suggest depression is associated with alterations in adiponectin and leptin, adipocyte-derived secretory proteins involved in metabolic regulation; however, longitudinal data on these association are lacking. This study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of depressive symptoms and major depressive disorder (MDD) with adiponectin and leptin in healthy middle-aged women (mean (SD) age, 45.6 (2.5) years). Cross-sectional analyses included 575 women with baseline adipokine data; longitudinal analyses included 262 women with 2–4 adipokine measurements over 5 years. The 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) was used to assess depressive symptoms; history of MDD was determined by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Adipokines were assayed from stored serum specimens; values were log-transformed for analyses. Linear and repeated measure random effects regression models evaluated associations of baseline CES-D scores with baseline adipokine concentrations and changes over time, respectively. Secondary analyses evaluated the relation of MDD history with adipokine concentrations. Mean (SD) baseline concentrations of adiponectin and leptin were 9.90 (4.92) μg/mL and 27.02 (20.06) ng/mL; both increased over time (p <.0001). CES-D scores were associated with lower adiponectin at baseline (per 1-SD: estimate=-0.04, SE=.02, p=.03) and over time (per 1-SD: estimate=-0.055, SE =.024, p=.02). Associations were unchanged in risk factor-adjusted models. Women with elevated CES-D scores (≥16) had 6.9% (95% CI: −1.1%, 14.3%; p =.089) lower median adiponectin at baseline and 11.5% (95% CI: 1.5%, 20.4%, p =.025) lower median adiponectin over time in adjusted models, compared to women with CES-D<16. Rate of change in adipokines did not vary by baseline depressive symptoms or MDD history. Depressive symptoms and MDD history were unrelated to leptin. In women at midlife, depressive symptoms are associated with lower adiponectin, a critical anti-inflammatory biomarker involved in metabolic and cardiovascular conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) has grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DHHS, through the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) (Grants U01NR004061; U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, U01AG012495). The Chicago site of SWAN also is supported by the Charles J. and Margaret Roberts Trust. The SWAN Mental Health Study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (grants R01MH59689 and R01MH59770). The present study used bio-specimens from the SWAN Repository, which is supported by the NIA (Grant U01AG017719). The present study also was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Grant R21HL091290) and by the Program in Health Disparities Research and the Applied Clinical Research Program at the University of Minnesota. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIA, NINR, NIMH, NHLBI, ORWH or the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Adiponectin
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Leptin
  • Middle-Aged
  • Women


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