Co-occurrence of metabolic syndrome with depression and anxiety in young adults: the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study

Psychosom Med. 2006 Mar-Apr;68(2):213-6. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000203172.02305.ea.


Objective: Only a few studies have dealt with the association of metabolic syndrome with depression and anxiety. We studied whether metabolic syndrome and its components are associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms in a young adult population cohort.

Methods: This study forms part of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study. The study sample consists of 5,698 members of the cohort who participated in the field study in 1997 to 1998. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the five criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were defined by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 questionnaire.

Results: Metabolic syndrome was not associated with depression or anxiety. The correlations between the components of the metabolic syndrome and psychological distress as continuous measures were low. High waist circumference (>102 cm in males and >88 cm in females) associated with depression (odds ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.61), but this association vanished when adjusted for gender, smoking, alcohol consumption, marital status, level of education, and physical activity.

Conclusion: No clear association was found between the metabolic syndrome and psychological distress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological