Serum insulin-like growth factor 1 and late-life depression: A population-based study

N.C. van Varsseveld, C.C. van Bunderen, E. Sohl, H.C. Comijs, B.W.J.H. Penninx, P. Lips, M.L. Drent

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentration decreases, while the prevalence of depressive symptoms increases with advancing age. Although basic research indicates a link between low IGF-1 concentration and depression, this has scarcely been investigated in humans. This study investigates whether lower IGF-1 concentrations are associated with prevalent and incident late-life depression over a 3-year period. Methods: The study included 1188 participants, aged ≥65 years, from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), an ongoing, population-based cohort study. Depression was assessed at baseline and after three years using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), and categorized into minor depression and major depression (MDD). Serum IGF-1 concentration was determined at baseline. Associations were adjusted for relevant confounders. Results: Serum IGF-1 concentrations were within the normal range (mean 13.9. nmol/l, standard deviation 5.3. nmol/l). At baseline, in men, as compared to high concentrations, mid concentrations decreased the probability of prevalent minor depression (odds ratio [OR]. =. 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI]. =. 0.15-0.82). In women, as compared to high concentrations, low concentrations tended to increase the probability of prevalent MDD (OR. =. 2.66, 95% CI. =. 0.89-7.89).At three-year follow-up, in men, no significant prospective associations were detected. In women, as compared to high concentrations, mid concentrations decreased the probability of incident minor depression (OR. =. 0.43, 95% CI. =. 0.19-0.95). Conclusions: Several associations, which differed across the genders, were observed between IGF-1 and depression. Cross-sectional findings were not supported by longitudinal findings, which suggest that IGF-1 may not play an important predictive role in the development of depression in older persons over time. However, a more acute role of IGF-1 in current depression, as indicated by the cross-sectional results, may be possible. Further studies are needed to elucidate the complex relation between IGF-1 and late-life depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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