Association between thyroid function, thyroid autoimmunity, and state and trait factors of depression

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 04/30/2012

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positively associated with trait markers of depression. The presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies may be a vulnerability marker for depression.


  • In 1125 participants of the Nijmegen Biomedical Study, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and TPOAb were measured twice.
  • The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a self-reported lifetime diagnosis of depression, and the neuroticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised Short Scale (EPQ-RSS) were used to evaluate the presence of state and trait features of depression.


  • The authors found no association between TSH and FT4 levels and BDI score, current depression, lifetime diagnosis of depression, and EPQ-RSS neuroticism score.
  • Subjects with TPOAb had higher EPQ-RSS neuroticism scores in comparison with subjects without TPOAb, mean score 4.1 vs. 3.2 (regression coefficient 0.70; 95% CI 0.1-1.3; P-value 0.02 after adjustment for confounders).
  • The prevalence of a lifetime diagnosis of depression was higher in subjects with positive TPOAb in comparison with participants without TPOAb: 24.2% vs. 16.7% (relative risk 1.4; 95% CI 1.0-2.1; P-value 0.04 after adjustment for confounders).

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