Associations between depressive symptom profiles and immunometabolic characteristics in individuals with depression and their siblings

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Objectives: The present study examined associations between immunometabolic characteristics (IMCs) and depressive symptom profiles (DSPs) in probands with lifetime diagnoses of depression and/or anxiety disorders and their siblings.Methods: Data were from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, comprising 256 probands with lifetime diagnoses of depression and/or anxiety and their 380 siblings. Measured IMCs included blood pressure, waist circumference, and levels of glucose, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, CRP, TNF-α and IL-6. DSPs included mood, cognitive, somatic and atypical-like profiles. We cross-sectionally examined whether DSPs were associated with IMCs within probands and within siblings, and whether DSPs were associated with IMCs between probands and siblings.Results: Within probands and within siblings, higher BMI and waist circumference were associated with higher somatic and atypical-like profiles. Other IMCs (IL-6, glucose and HDL cholesterol) were significantly related to DSPs either within probands or within siblings. DSPs and IMCs were not associated between probands and siblings.Conclusions: The results suggest that there is a familial component for each trait, but no common familial factors for the association between DSPs and IMCs. Alternative mechanisms, such as direct causal effects or non-shared environmental risk factors, may better fit these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Atypical depression
  • BMI
  • familial resemblance
  • inflammation
  • siblings

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