Depression is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Oxidative damage to lipids is one of the key early events in the etiology of atherosclerosis, the pathologic condition that underlies these diseases. The current study examines the pathophysiological consequences of depression by comparing serum levels of F2α-isoprostanes (8-iso-PGF2α), a biomarker of oxidative damage to lipids, in a group of depressed individuals (n=73) and a matched comparison group (n=72). The depressed group had significantly higher levels of serum 8-iso-PGF2α, while controlling for age, gender, race, years of education, daily smoking, number of alcoholic drinks per week, average amount of physical activity per week, and body mass index. Analyses using interviewer ratings on the Hamilton Scale revealed that, within the depressed cohort, there was no significant association between the severity of symptoms and levels of 8-iso-PGF2α, suggesting this is a threshold rather than a dose-response relationship. Results extend on our knowledge of depression and oxidative damage to lipids. In conclusion, oxidative damage to lipid molecules may represent a common pathophysiological mechanism by which depressed individuals become more vulnerable to atherosclerosis and its clinical sequelae.
- Lipid damage
- Oxidative damage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry