Study Shows Effects of Antidepressant Use on Lipid Biomarkers

Results are clinically significant for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.

A study found that antidepressant use affects low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), and total cholesterol in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

In the study, which aimed to identify the short-term effects of changing antidepressant medications on lipid markers in adults with depression, investigators recruited and analyzed a subsample of n = 15 patients (aged 49.45 ± 7.45; 86.67% female and 13.33% male) who had been diagnosed with MDD and had been prescribed a change in antidepressant medication upon admission to a psychosomatic rehabilitation clinic.1

These patients were measured at baseline (upon clinic admission; T0) with questionnaires and blood samples and again 2 weeks later (T1) with blood samples. At T0, investigators used the Beck Depression Inventory-II, incorporating questionnaires to assess the antidepressant medications and sociodemographic characteristics among the participants. The blood samples at both T0 and T1 assessed the lipid profiles using Roche/Hitachi Cobas 701/702. The investigators identified HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides at T0 and analyzed their changes using the Wilcoxon test at T1, with a significance level of p < 0.05. Results identified decrements in HDL (p = 0.041); LDL (p < 0.001); and total cholesterol (p < 0.001) upon assessment at T1, although no difference was observed in triglycerides (p = 0.699).1

“The results of our study show that LDL, HDL, and cholesterol are affected by antidepressant use. Despite a small sample size and a lack of advanced information on antidepressant medication, our results are in line with recent research,” the investigators concluded in the study. “These observations are of clinical relevance for medical practitioners in the planning and management of treatment strategies for MDD patients, as alterations in lipid profiles in patients with MDD were associated with higher risks of suicide and CVD.”

Reference

1. Stuchtey FC, Block A, Osei F, Wippert PM. Lipid biomarkers in depression: does antidepressant therapy have an impact? Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10(2):333.