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Depression tied to cholesterol levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Cholesterol tests may not only indicate an individual's risk of developing heart disease. A new study from French researchers has found that cholesterol levels may also be linked to depressive symptoms in the elderly.

Researchers from the University of Montpelier gave cholesterol tests to a large sample of adults over age 65, then assessed them for symptoms of depression at several points during the seven years of follow-up.

They found that women who had low levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression. The opposite was true for men, as high levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, predicted depression.

"Our results suggest that clinical management of abnormal lipid levels may reduce depression in the elderly, but different treatment will be required according to sex," said the study's lead author Marie-Laure Ancelin.

Previous research has shown that individuals who have been diagnosed with depression are more likely to experience heart complications. However, this is the first study to show that depression may predict heart health, the report noted.

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