BACKGROUND: In adults, depressive symptoms are positively associated with insulin resistance. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an association exists between depressive symptoms and markers of insulin resistance in youth. METHODS: This study used a retrospective review of data from an obesity clinic. We evaluated the association between depressive symptoms (Children's Depression Inventory, CDI) and fasting insulin and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese youth (n = 207, age 10-18 years). Individuals with lower vs. higher CDI T-scores (/=65) were compared; this cut-point is accepted as indicating the possibility of clinical depression. Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate relationships between CDI T-scores and insulin resistance. RESULTS: Fasting insulin and HOMA-IR values were 40% higher in patients with higher CDI T-scores (P = 0.04). After accounting for gender, race, age and body mass index, CDI T-score remained associated with HOMA-IR, although the strength of the association was small (b = 0.007, P = 0.049). CONCLUSIONS: Relationships between depressive symptoms and insulin resistance should be considered when evaluating obese youth.
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