Low Cholesterol, Depression Linked
Low cholesterol levels may have a big downside: severe depression, scientists say. A study of 260 men from the Netherlands shows those with chronically low cholesterol readings are more likely to suffer symptoms of severe depression.
The study appears in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Researchers divided the 40- to 70-year-old men into those who had low cholesterol and those who maintained a slightly more moderate level.
The study shows the relative risk of having severe depressive symptoms was four to seven times higher in the men with chronically low cholesterol levels. Researchers found no difference, however, in the levels of hostility or impulsiveness in either group.
Recent weight loss and lower calorie intake also are associated with a higher risk of depressive symptoms, the researchers say.
Dr. Diederick Grobbee, chairman of the Julius Center for Patient Oriented Research, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands, says there are few studies in this area. He adds because there is so little research, the reasons low cholesterol influences the depressive symptoms remain unknown.