Among various factors influencing mood disorders, the impact of micronutrient deficiencies has attracted a great attention. Zinc deficiency is considered to play a crucial role in the onset and progression of mood disorders in different stages of life. The main objective of this study was to assess the correlation between serum zinc levels and mood disorders in high school female students. This cross-sectional study was conducted on a random sample of 100 representative high school female students. The participants completed 24-h food recall questionnaires to assess the daily zinc intakes. Serum zinc status was assessed using flame atomic absorption spectrometry, and zinc deficiency was defined accordingly. Mood disorders were estimated by calculating the sum of two test scores including Beck's depression inventory (BDI) and hospital anxiety depression scale (HADS) tests. General linear model (GLM) and Pearson's regression test were applied to show the correlation of serum zinc levels and mood disorder scores and the correlation between zinc serum levels and BDI scores, respectively. Dietary zinc intake was higher in subjects with normal zinc concentrations than that of zinc-deficient group (p = 0.001). Serum zinc levels were inversely correlated with BDI and HADS scores (p < 0.05). Each 10 μg/dL increment in serum zinc levels led to 0.3 and 0.01 decrease in depression and anxiety scores, respectively (p < 0.05). Serum zinc levels were inversely correlated with mood disorders including depression and anxiety in adolescent female students. Increasing serum levels of zinc in female students could improve their mood disorders.
Keywords: Female; Mood disorders; Serum zinc levels; Students; Zinc.