BACKGROUND: Studies on the association of cholesterol levels with depression have yielded mixed results. Similarly, the association between suicidality and cholesterol is conflicted. The effect of statins on various mental health diseases is also widely debated. Objective: To assess and establish a correlation between levels of cholesterol and depression in parasuicide patients. Method: Study Design: Cross-sectional. Study Period: June 2, 2016 to June 1, 2017. Study Area: Yenkapally, Telangana. Sample Size: 98. Study population: Inpatients who have attempted suicide. Exclusion criteria: Nutritional and metabolic disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, mental retardation, alcoholism, patients on antidiabetics, antidepressants or statins, etc. The exclusion criteria was extensive to exclude any cause known to influence cholesterol or depression levels. Data collected: Demographic data, serum cholesterol level, and level of depression. Data analysis: R Project statistical software and Social Science Statistics. RESULTS: The total serum cholesterol levels showed no variation in subjects from different sexes of similar age, nourishment, and built. They were consistent with the socio-economic status and the age of the individual. The level of depression among the subjects showed no discernable pattern with age, gender, and socio-economic status. A graph plotted shows an overall picture that the total serum cholesterol and the level of depression are inversely proportional to each other. The statistical correlation established was significant (r=-0.3607, p=0.000272). Upon gender stratification the values were consistent: Female (r=-0.3452, p=0.005588), Male (r=-0.4487, p= 0.010397). Conclusion: The level of cholesterol is inversely proportional to the level of depression. This correlation has a significant impact on the clinical practice of psychiatry and the treatment of depression. It helps in the identification of individuals at high risk of developing depression.
Adila Reddy, Lokesh Kumar Kalasapati