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Type: Journal article
Title: Associations between depression subtypes, depression severity and diet quality: cross-sectional findings from the BiDirect study
Author: Rahe, C.
Baune, B.
Unrath, M.
Arolt, V.
Wellmann, J.
Wersching, H.
Berger, K.
Citation: BMC Psychiatry, 2015; 15(1):38-1-38-9
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1471-244X
Statement of
Corinna Rahe, Bernhard T Baune, Michael Unrath, Volker Arolt, Jürgen Wellmann, Heike Wersching and Klaus Berger
Abstract: Depression is supposed to be associated with an unhealthy lifestyle including poor diet. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in diet quality between patients with a clinical diagnosis of depression and population-based controls. Additionally, we aimed to examine effects of specific depression characteristics on diet by analyzing if diet quality varies between patients with distinct depression subtypes, and if depression severity is associated with diet quality.The study included 1660 participants from the BiDirect Study (n = 840 patients with depression, n = 820 population-based controls). The psychiatric assessment was based on clinical interviews and a combination of depression scales in order to provide the classification of depression subtypes and severity. Diet quality scores, reflecting the adherence to a healthy dietary pattern, were calculated on the basis of an 18-item food frequency questionnaire. Using analysis of covariance, we calculated adjusted means of diet quality scores and tested differences between groups (adjusted for socio-demographic, lifestyle-, and health-related factors).We found no differences in diet quality between controls and patients with depression if depression was considered as one entity. However, we did find differences between patients with distinct subtypes of depression. Patients with melancholic depression reported the highest diet quality scores, whereas patients with atypical depression reported the lowest scores. Depression severity was not associated with diet quality.Previous literature has commonly treated depression as a homogeneous entity. However, subtypes of depression may be associated with diet quality in different ways. Further studies are needed to enlighten the diet-depression relationship and the role of distinct depression subtypes.
Keywords: Humans; Cardiovascular Diseases; Diet; Case-Control Studies; Cross-Sectional Studies; Food Habits; Life Style; Depressive Disorder; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; Female; Male
Rights: © 2015 Rahe et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030027616
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-015-0426-9
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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