Factors Associated with Metabolic Syndrome among Psychiatric Outpatients with Major Depressive Disorder

Hat NH, Shahrul Azhar MH, Chong LL, Ee WS, Amirah R, Hazli Z, Nik Ruzyanei NJ


Background: Metabolic Syndrome is a major concern for the general population but more so for depressed patients. While it is well established that it is highly prevalent among patients who are depressed, none of the local studies identified the factors contributing to the syndrome. Objective: This study aimed to determine the rate of metabolic syndrome and its associated factors (socio-demographic, clinical features and lifestyle risk factors) in depressed patients. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on patients with major depressive disorders (MDD) attending psychiatric outpatient clinic in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC), a teaching hospital in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 72 outpatients who fulfilled the selection criteria were informed to fast prior to blood taking. The diagnosis of MDD was made based on Diagnostic Statistical Manual Version IV (DSM-IV) while the metabolic syndrome diagnosis was made using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria based on the patients’ waist circumference, blood pressure, serum glucose level and lipid profile. Results: The rates of metabolic syndrome was 37.5% (n = 27). The results showed significant associations between metabolic syndrome and race (p = 0.043), illness duration (p = 0.043) and pre-existing hyperlipidaemia (p = 0.032). Interestingly, lifestyle factors like physical activity (p = 0.762), dietary intake (p = 0.671), severity of depression (p = 0.161) and the different types of medications (p = 0.242 to 1.000) were not found to significantly associated with metabolic syndrome among the study sample. Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome was found to be disproportionately high among depressed patients. Two significant factors associated with this syndrome were race and long duration of depression (ten years or more). This study suggests that early screening and identification can be beneficial to be incorporated in the management of depression in anticipation of future complications.


Major Depressive Disorder, Metabolic Syndrome, Risk Factors, Smoking, Alcohol, Intake

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