Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. High adiponectin and low leptin levels were associated with greater anxiety and depression symptoms in postmenopausal women.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Rates of depression and anxiety are nearly 2 times higher during and after menopause, with some prevalence estimates ranging from 18-41.8% and 7-25% for peri- and postmenopausal periods respectively. Although there is no clear causative link, past studies have shown a correlation between depression and obesity or metabolic syndrome. As well, anxiety symptoms and obesity were found to be correlated with increased inflammation and insulin resistance. The hormones adiponectin and leptin have been proposed as potential markers for greater risk and lower risk of mental illness respectively: Both are secreted by adipocytes, with adiponectin having anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing action, and leptin having pro-inflammatory and metabolic regulatory effects. The current study investigated the association between adiponectin and leptin levels with anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women. The study consisted of 190 postmenopausal women with a median age of 53 (interquartile range 50-56 years). Hormone levels were measured from blood tests after an 8-hour fast, and the psychological tests administered were the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A). Higher scores on these psychological tests indicated more severe mental illness. Overall, the study found significant correlations between both psychological tests, and adiponectin and leptin levels. Higher adiponectin levels were associated with higher CES-D scores (p = 0.009) and HAM-A scores (p = 0.01), whereas lower leptin levels were associated with higher CES-D scores (p = 0.015) and HAM-A scores (p = 0.001). In particular, patients with a CES-D score greater than 16 and HAM-A greater than 18 had higher adiponectin levels than those with lower scores. In conclusion, high adiponectin and low leptin levels were found to be potential indicators of anxiety and depression symptoms in postmenopausal women.

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