Home > Prevention & Precautionary Steps For Seniors > Cholesterol Linked To Depression In Senior Citizens

Cholesterol Linked To Depression In Senior Citizens

Older women that have low levels of the “good” cholesterol known as high density lipoprotein (HDL), tend to have higher rates of depression. However, according to a new study, male senior citizens with higher rates of depression had low levels of the “bad” form of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL). Research shows that properly balancing the levels of HDL and LDL may help drop the levels of depression in senior citizens. It’s clear that most senior citizens know that high cholesterol levels increase their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Prior research has demonstrated that specific types of strokes contribute to one’s risk for depression, and that abnormal blood protein levels can increase the risk of depression in the elderly. With research making a direct link between cholesterol and depression it may be a good idea to think about placing your senior loved ones in an assisted living facility. The medical professionals that work in assisted living facilities and will be in charge of caring for your senior loved ones will be able to carefully monitor their conditions and make sure they are getting the right medication. They are skilled at noticing the small signs of depression and will be able to give your seniors the counseling they need.

However, the new findings suggest the link between increased cholesterol and depression may be more complex than we realize. Conducting their study at a various number of assisted living facilities around the country, the researchers studied a large population of elderly men and women, assessing them for symptoms of depression while assessing their risk of heart attack or stroke. Not only does the study find that elderly men with the greatest risk of depression have low LDL, they say this was especially true for those that have a genetic predisposition to depression related to a serotonin transporter gene.

The Cholesterol Clogger by *Yamatoyo on deviantART

This finding in men poses important questions. Although the pattern of low LDL levels seems to protect them from becoming at risk for cardiovascular diseases or strokes, the study also suggests that it increases their risk for mental health deterioration at the same time. “Our results suggest that clinical management of abnormal lipid levels may reduce depression in the elderly, but different treatment will be required according to sex. LDL-C serum level seems to be an important biological marker in men, with a narrow range for normal functioning. Above this range, cardio- or cerebro-vascular risk increases and below it, there is increased risk of depression,” said Dr. Marie-Laure Ancelin, corresponding author for this study. The researchers not only suggest minding cholesterol as a way to prevent depression in senior citizens, they say careful monitoring of LDL levels in men seems to be especially useful.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Los Angeles and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

  1. June 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Wow! I had no idea that Cholesterol was linked to Depression!
    I better stop taking my grandfather to In and Out Burger and go somewhere a little more healthy.
    Thanks for the article.

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