Previous research has established that among patients with MDD, the incidences of glucose and lipid abnormalities are common.

In a recent publication in Scientific Reports, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the prevalence and the associated factors contributing to abnormal lipid metabolism in MDD patients with abnormal glucose metabolism.

To the best of their knowledge, the authors noted that this was the first study to investigate the lipid metabolism profile of MDD patients with abnormal glucose metabolism.

The study involved 1,718 first-episode and drug-naïve (FEDN) MDD patients. The researchers utilized the 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale positive subscale to evaluate depressive, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms, respectively. Moreover, researchers measured serum thyroid function–related parameters and glucose- and lipid-metabolism parameters.

The results revealed that the incidence of abnormal lipid metabolism was tremendously higher in patients with FEDN MDD with abnormal glucose metabolism when compared to patients without abnormal glucose metabolism.

Risk factors for abnormal lipid metabolism included thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (FT3), and BMI among FEDN MDD patients with abnormal glucose metabolism.

The authors wrote, “If the three conditions of TSH ≥ 4.79 μIU/ml, FT3 ≥ 4.38 pmol/L, and BMI ≥ 24.29 kg/m2 were met in FEDN MDD patients with abnormal glucose metabolism, their prevalence of abnormal lipid metabolism in patients exceeded 81.2%.”

The authors also noted that among patients with MDD, abnormal glucose metabolism was an independent risk factor for abnormal lipid metabolism.

Based on their findings, the authors also wrote, “Our study confirms the significant correlation between abnormal glucose metabolism and abnormal lipid metabolism in FEDN MDD patients, and the lipid levels in patients taking glucose-lowering medications or with abnormal glucose metabolism deserve even more attention in terms of clinical and nursing care. And because of the common adverse effects of antipsychotics and antidepressants on patients' metabolism, the glycolipid metabolic capacity of patients on long-term medications should be of greater concern to clinicians and nurses.”

The authors concluded that their findings demonstrated that FEDN MDD patients with abnormal glucose metabolism had a greater incidence of abnormal lipid metabolism, and the related risk factors for the manifestation of abnormal lipid metabolism included levels of TSH, FT3, and BMI. They also noted that they would like to conduct longitudinal studies to investigate the causal correlation between these factors.

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