The relationship between visceral adiposity and depressive symptoms in the general Korean population

Sung Joon Cho, Hyun Jeong Lee, Sang Jin Rhee, Eun Young Kim, Kyoung Nam Kim, Dae Hyun Yoon, Yong Min Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: In Korea, depressive symptoms or depression are prevalent. Metabolic syndrome is the representative medical condition associated with depression. This study examined the association between clinically significant depressive symptoms and intra-abdominal fat, measured using abdominal computed tomography, in a large sample of the Korean population who underwent routine health examination. Methods: People who underwent routine health examinations at the Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System, Gangnam Center, from October 2004 to July 2012 were included in the study. There were 11,434 cases of individuals with CT scan data and entries in the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Of these, 1156 men and women underwent CT scans more than once. In these cases, we analyzed the first scan. Results: We analyzed 4945 male and 2293 female participants; 333 participants (171 male, 162 female) were in the clinically depressed group. After controlling for confounding factors, we found that clinically depressive symptoms were associated with visceral adiposity in women. Per 1 cm 2 of visceral adipose tissue area, the risk of being clinically depressed increased 1.006-fold. Similarly, per 1% increase in the ratio of visceral and total adipose tissue area in women, the risk increased 1.028-fold. Conclusions: Our large-sample study showed depressive symptoms are associated with intra-abdominal fat and the ratio of visceral and total adipose area in women, after controlling for confounding factors including BMI, hypertension, and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Body mass index
  • Depression
  • Intra-abdominal fat
  • Intra-peritoneal fat
  • Obesity
  • Ratio
  • Woman


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