Depression, C-Reactive Protein, and Osteoprotegerin May Affect Dyslipidemia

A blood test for a lipid profile
A blood test for a lipid profile
Investigators sought to determine whether serum lipid levels were associated with depression in patients with psychotic disorders.

Both depression and the inflammatory markers C reactive protein and osteoprotegerin show evidence of playing a role in the physiological course of dyslipidemia in patients with psychotic disorders. This research was recently published in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

This study included 652 individuals recruited from the Norwegian Thematically Organized Psychosis Study, 344 of whom had a form of schizophrenia (schizophrenia group) and 308 of whom had bipolar I, bipolar II, not otherwise specified bipolar disorder, or not otherwise specified psychosis (non-schizophrenia group). There were strong associations with depression between both total cholesterol ([TC]; β=0.13; P =.007) and low-density lipoprotein ([LDL]; β=0.14; P =.007) scores. TC and LDL also showed significant associations with osteoprotegerin (β=0.14; P =.007 and β=0.11; P =.007, respectively) and C-reactive protein (β=0.14; P =.007 and β=0.16; P =.007, respectively). Both analyses had a total model variance of 17% (P <.001; P <.001, respectively).

The Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale were used to render clinical data. The study researchers analyzed blood samples for TC, LDL, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, osteoprotegerin, and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist. Results were extrapolated after adjustments for gender, smoking status, use of dyslipidemia-inducing antipsychotics, age, and body mass index were made.

Although research has elucidated how positive and negative symptoms compare in dyslipidemia and psychosis, less is known about the possible association between depression and lipid status. This study sought to investigate how lipid levels are affected by depression and inflammatory factors in persons with psychotic disorders.

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The study researchers conclude that “[current] findings highlight a potential independent role of depression and inflammatory markers, [C-reactive protein] and [osteoprotegerin] in specific, in the pathophysiology of dyslipidemia in psychotic disorders.”


Gohar SM, Dieset I, Steen NE, et al. Association between serum lipid levels, osteoprotegerin and depressive symptomatology in psychotic disorders [published online May 2, 2018]. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. doi: 10.1007/s00406-018-0897-z.