Depression is associated with sarcopenia, not central obesity, in elderly Korean men

Nam Hoon Kim, Hye Sook Kim, Chai Ryoung Eun, Ji A. Seo, Hyun Joo Cho, Sin Gon Kim, Kyung Mook Choi, Sei Hyun Baik, Dong Seop Choi, Moon Ho Park, Changsu Han, Nan Hee Kim

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69 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To examine the relationship between depression and various components of body composition, including fat and muscle, in elderly Koreans. Design A cross-sectional sample of a longitudinal cohort from the Ansan Geriatric (AGE) Study. Setting Elderly people living in urban area (Ansan City, South Korea). Participants Eight hundred thirty-six participants (378 male, 458 female) aged 60 and older were recruited from April 2006 to January 2008. Measurements Depressive symptoms were examined using the Korean version of the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (KGDS). Participants taking antidepressant medications or with a KGDS score of 14 or greater were classified as having depression. Abdominal visceral fat area (VFA) and subcutaneous fat area were assessed using single-slice computed tomography, and appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) and percentage body fat (%BF) were determined using whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results Elderly men with depression had a lower ASM than those without depression (P =.01) after adjusting for age, body weight, and height. In men, the risk of depression was lower with higher body mass index (BMI) (odds ratio (OR) per 1-standard deviation (SD) increase = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.51-0.96) after adjusting for all confounding variables and higher ASM (OR per 1-SD increase = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.29-0.85) after controlling for age, height, and weight. Similarly, depression was negatively associated with BMI in women (OR per 1-SD increase = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.56-0.95). Waist circumference, %BF, and VFA were not consistently associated with depression in men or women. Conclusion Depression in elderly Koreans is associated with low body mass and sarcopenia, especially in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2062-2068
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov


  • body composition
  • depression
  • obesity
  • sarcopenia
  • skeletal muscle mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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