Background: The effects of skeletal muscle mass on depressive symptoms remain poorly understood, especially in the middle-aged population. We examined the relationship between skeletal muscle mass and depressive symptoms according to sex and menopausal status in the middle-aged Korean population. Methods: Herein, 1,151 men and 2,176 women aged 30–64 years completed questionnaires and underwent health examinations in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Etiology Research Center study. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) was measured via bioelectrical impedance analysis and adjusted for height squared (ASM/Ht2). Both continuous values and tertile groups of ASM/Ht2 were used for analysis. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depressive Inventory-II (BDI), and the prevalence of depressive symptoms was determined as a BDI score ≥ 20. Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis using a fully adjusted model showed that depressive symptoms were more frequently observed among men in the lower ASM/Ht2 tertile and middle ASM/Ht2 tertile than among those in the higher ASM/Ht2 tertile. Each 1-kg/m2 decrease in ASM/Ht2 was significantly associated with the presence of depressive symptoms in men. Such significant association was not observed among premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Limitations: The cross-sectional nature of the study design, measurement of skeletal muscle mass and depressive symptoms only once, estimation of skeletal muscle mass using bioelectrical impedance analysis, assessing depressive symptoms by self-reported questionnaire, and potential unknown confounding variables constitute the limitations of our study. Conclusions: The independent association between low skeletal muscle mass and depressive symptoms was observed in men but not in women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health