Sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics of energy-related depression symptoms: A pooled analysis of 13,965 depressed cases in 8 Dutch cohorts

Sarah R. Vreijling, Marije van Haeringen, Yuri Milaneschi, Floris Huider, Mariska Bot, Najaf Amin, Marijke A. Bremmer, Petra J. Elders, Tessel E. Galesloot, Lambertus A. Kiemeney, Hanna M. van Loo, H. Susan J. Picavet, Femke Rutters, Ashley van der Spek, Anne M. van de Wiel, Cornelia van Duijn, Edith J.M. Feskens, Catharina A. Hartman, Albertine J. Oldehinkel, Jan H. SmitW. M.Monique Verschuren, Gonneke Willemsen, Eco J.C. de Geus, Dorret I. Boomsma, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Femke Lamers, Rick Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: In a substantial subgroup of depressed patients, atypical, energy-related depression symptoms (e.g. increased appetite/weight, hypersomnia, loss of energy) tend to cluster with immuno-metabolic dysregulations (e.g. increased BMI and inflammatory markers). This clustering is proposed to reflect a more homogeneous depression pathology. This study examines to what extent energy-related symptoms are associated and share sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics. Methods: Data were available from 13,965 participants from eight Dutch cohorts with DSM-5 lifetime major depression assessed by the Lifetime Depression Assessment Self-report (LIDAS) questionnaire. Information on four energy-related depression symptoms were extracted: energy loss, increased appetite, increased weight, and hypersomnia. Tetrachoric correlations between these symptoms, and associations of these symptoms with sociodemographic (sex, age, education), lifestyle (physical activity, BMI, smoking) and clinical characteristics (age of onset, episode duration, history, treatment and recency, and self-reported comorbidity) were computed. Results: Correlations between energy-related symptoms were overall higher than those with other depression symptoms and varied from 0.90 (increased appetite vs increased weight) to 0.11 (increased appetite vs energy loss). All energy-related symptoms were strongly associated with higher BMI and a more severe clinical profile. Patients with increased appetite were more often smokers, and only patients with increased appetite or weight more often had a self-reported diagnosis of PTSD (OR = 1.17, p = 2.91E-08) and eating disorder (OR = 1.40, p = 4.08E-17). Conclusions: The symptom-specific associations may have consequences for a profile integrating these symptoms, which can be used to reflect immuno-metabolic depression. They indicate the need to study immuno-metabolic depression at individual symptom resolution as a starting point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • Clinical characteristics
  • Depression
  • Depression symptoms


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