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Keywords:

  • systemic inflammation;
  • depression;
  • cardiovascular disease;
  • gender;
  • ferritin, transferrin, fibrinogen

Baune BT, Neuhauser H, Ellert U, Berger K. The role of the inflammatory markers ferritin, transferrin and fibrinogen in the relationship between major depression and cardiovascular disorders – The German Health Interview and Examination Survey.

Objective:  To determine levels of inflammation (ferritin, transferrin and fibrinogen) in major depression (MDD) and comorbid cardiovascular disease (CVD) in an adult population.

Method:  In 4181 participants of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey MDD was assessed through the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Coronary heart disease, stroke, and hypertension were diagnosed by a computer-assisted physician interview. Analyses were performed using anova models stratified for gender.

Results:  Ferritin, transferrin and fibrinogen levels showed opposing patterns in individuals with either CVD or MDD alone. In comorbidity analyses, male participants with MDD plus comorbid CHD or hypertension had lower levels of ferritin and lower fibrinogen levels in hypertension compared to men without MDD, while in women, results were inconsistent.

Conclusion:  Opposing patterns of inflammatory markers in CVD or MDD alone were reversed when both conditions were present. MDD reduced levels of ferritin, transferrin and fibrinogen in CVD in a gender-specific way.