Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

The interplay between cardiometabolic state, sleep, and depressive disorders: A prospective study using data from the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Professor Soili Lehto
Approved Research ID: 99811
Approval date: April 6th 2023

Lay summary

Numerous studies have linked depression with cardiometabolic diseases, and some studies further suggest that these associations may be bidirectional - that is cardio-metabolic abnormalities are associated with an increased risk of depression and vice versa. Nevertheless, the shared mechanisms and pathways underlying the link between depression and these diseases remain largely unknown. Detailed metabolomics profiling technology is a promising tool for identifying novel disease biomarkers and improving our understanding of the etiology of depression and suicidal behaviors. The overall aim of this project is to use data from the UK Biobank to advance our understanding of the interplay between metabolic biomarkers, cardiometabolic outcomes, depression, and suicidal behavior. We will specifically examine if metabolic signatures predict subsequent risk of depression/suicidal behavior, whether depressive disorders/suicidal behavior predict subsequent risk of cardiovascular diseases and further how these relationships may be affected by lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use), adiposity, sleep, and medications. Secondary aims are to examine the associations between lifestyle factors (particularly physical activity), and depression, and whether the associations are bidirectional. We will examine these relationships using longitudinal data, which strengthens our ability to infer causality, and use network analyses that take into account the high correlations between these factors and visualize pathways in complex data. The project duration will be 36 months. The knowledge from this project may inform strategies for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of depressive disorders, suicidal behaviors, and cardiovascular diseases associated with these disorders.