Objective Naturally occurring low cholesterol levels have been related to increased depressive symptoms in studies conducted predominantly in men. However, depression is more common among women, may increase during the menopause, and may be impacted by hormone replacement therapy (HRT). We therefore examined the potential interactive relation of depressive symptoms and HRT status to lipoprotein lipids among postmenopausal women. Methods Seventy healthy, postmenopausal women (ages 50-70; 36% receiving HRT) completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and provided two fasting blood samples for assessment of lipoprotein lipids. Results Following statistical adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), HRT status, and depressive symptoms, the interaction of depression and HRT explained 16% variance in total cholesterol and 17% variance in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Ps<.01). Greater levels of depressive symptoms were associated with lower cholesterol levels only among women who were not taking HRT. Conclusion These findings suggest that HRT may buffer associations between naturally occurring low cholesterol levels and increased symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health