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Association of visceral fat area with the presence of depressive symptoms in Chinese postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance

Xiong, Qin MD1; Hu, Xiang MD1; Xu, Yiting MD1; Zhang, Xueli MD1; Pan, Xiaoping BS1; Xiao, Yunfeng BS2; Ma, Xiaojing MD, PhD1; Bao, Yuqian MD1; Jia, Weiping MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000917
Original Articles

Objective: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders, and women are more vulnerable to depression than men, particularly during stages of hormonal fluctuations. After menopause, fat accumulation shifts from the subcutaneous area to the visceral area, and the risk of metabolic disorder increases in parallel. The present study aimed to evaluate the association between abdominal fat distribution and the presence of depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Visceral fat area (VFA) was detected by magnetic resonance imaging. Depressive symptoms were evaluated with Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale.

Results: In all, 437 normoglycemic postmenopausal women with a mean age of 58.4 ± 5.0 years (mean age at final menstrual period: 50.1 ± 3.5 years) were enrolled in the present study, including 117 individuals with depressive symptoms and 320 individuals without depressive symptoms. The prevalence of abdominal obesity in women with depressive symptoms was much higher than that in those without depressive symptoms (37.6% vs 27.5%; P = 0.042). Participants with depressive symptoms showed elevated VFA values (74.6 ± 29.8 vs 65.9 ± 28.9 cm2; P = 0.006). Multivariate stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that VFA was independently correlated with the presence of depressive symptoms (standardized β = 0.099, P = 0.012).

Conclusions: In Chinese postmenopausal women, visceral fat accumulation was an independent and positive factor significantly associated with the presence of depressive symptoms.

1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Clinical Center for Diabetes, Shanghai Key Clinical Center for Metabolic Disease, Shanghai Diabetes Institute, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus, Shanghai, China

2Department of Radiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai, China.

Address correspondence to: Xiaojing Ma, MD, PhD, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai 200233, China. E-mail: maxiaojing@sjtu.edu.cn; Yuqian Bao, MD, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai 200233, China. E-mail: yqbao@sjtu.edu.cn

Received 26 January, 2017

Revised 3 April, 2017

Accepted 3 April, 2017

Q.X. and X.H. contributed equally to this work.

Funding/support: This work was funded by National key research and development project of China (2016YFA0502003), the innovation foundation of translational medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and Shanghai SJTUSM Biobank (15ZH4006).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

© 2017 by The North American Menopause Society.