Food and Behaviour Research

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Hypocholesterolemia is an independent risk factor for depression disorder and suicide attempt in Northern Mexican population

Segoviano-Mendoza M, Cárdenas-de la Cruz M, Salas-Pacheco J, Vázquez-Alaniz F, La Llave-León O, Castellanos-Juárez F, Méndez-Hernández J, Barraza-Salas M, Miranda-Morales E, Arias-Carrión O, Méndez-Hernández E (2018) BMC Psychiatry.  2018 Jan 15;18(1): 7. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1596-z. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here



Cholesterol has been associated as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Recently, however, there is growing evidence about crucial requirement of neuron membrane cholesterol in the organization and function of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. For this, low cholesterol level has been reported to be associated with depression and suicidality. However there have been inconsistent reports about this finding and the exact relationship between these factors remains controversial. Therefore, we investigated the link between serum cholesterol and its fractions with depression disorder and suicide attempt in 467 adult subjects in Mexican mestizo population.


Plasma levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) were determined in 261 MDD patients meeting the DSM-5 criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD), 59 of whom had undergone an episode of suicide attempt, and 206 healthy controls.


A significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels was observed in the groups of MDD patients and suicide attempt compared to those without suicidal behavior (p < 0.05). After adjusting for covariates, lower cholesterol levels were significantly associated with MDD (OR 4.229 CI 95% 2.555 - 7.000, p<.001) and suicide attempt (OR 5.540 CI 95% 2.825 - 10.866, p<.001) CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that lower levels of cholesterol are associated with mood disorders like MDD and suicidal behavior. More mechanistic studies are needed to further explain this association.


Read the associated article in Psychiatry Today here:
See also:
Tomson-Johanson & Harro 2018 - Low cholesterol, impulsivity and violence revisited