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Associations of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 with cognitive symptoms of depression: 12-year follow-up of the Whitehall II study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2008

D. Gimeno*
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
M. Kivimäki
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
E. J. Brunner
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
M. Elovainio
Affiliation:
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland National Research and Development Centre of Welfare and Health (STAKES), Helsinki, Finland
R. De Vogli
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
A. Steptoe
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
M. Kumari
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
G. D. O. Lowe
Affiliation:
Division of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK
A. Rumley
Affiliation:
Division of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK
M. G. Marmot
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
J. E. Ferrie
Affiliation:
International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, UK
*
*Address for correspondence: D. Gimeno, Ph.D., International Institute for Society and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. (Email: d.gimeno@ucl.ac.uk)

Abstract

Background

A lack of longitudinal studies has made it difficult to establish the direction of associations between circulating concentrations of low-grade chronic inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, and cognitive symptoms of depression. The present study sought to assess whether C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 predict cognitive symptoms of depression or whether these symptoms predict inflammatory markers.

Method

In a prospective occupational cohort study of British white-collar civil servants (the Whitehall II study), serum C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and cognitive symptoms of depression were measured at baseline in 1991–1993 and at follow-up in 2002–2004, an average follow-up of 11.8 years. Symptoms of depression were measured with four items describing cognitive symptoms of depression from the General Health Questionnaire. The number of participants varied between 3339 and 3070 (mean age 50 years, 30% women) depending on the analysis.

Results

Baseline C-reactive protein (β=0.046, p=0.004) and interleukin-6 (β=0.046, p=0.005) predicted cognitive symptoms of depression at follow-up, while baseline symptoms of depression did not predict inflammatory markers at follow-up. After full adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioural and biological risk factors, health conditions, medication use and baseline cognitive systems of depression, baseline C-reactive protein (β=0.038, p=0.036) and interleukin-6 (β=0.041, p=0.018) remained predictive of cognitive symptoms of depression at follow-up.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that inflammation precedes depression at least with regard to the cognitive symptoms of depression.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press

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