Stress, COMT polymorphisms, and depressive symptoms in older Australian women: an exploratory study

Seib, Charrlotte and Whiteside, Eliza and Voisey, Joanne and Lee, Kathryn and Alexander, Kimberly and Humphreys, Janice and Chopin, Lisa and Anderson, Debra (2016) Stress, COMT polymorphisms, and depressive symptoms in older Australian women: an exploratory study. Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, 20 (8). pp. 478-481. ISSN 1945-0265

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Objectives: This exploratory study examined the association between exposure to stressful life events, polymorphisms (rs165774 and rs4680) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, and risk of depression in women. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional design gathered information from 150 Australia women, aged 60–70 years, on sociodemographics, stressful life events, and depressive symptoms. Participants also provided buccal cell swabs for genetic analysis. Results: Among women exposed to stressful life events, the odds of depressive symptoms increased by 18% with each additional exposure (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.04–1.33, p = 0.007). Women who carried at least one “A” allele (AA/AG) for both rs165774 and rs4680 single nucleotide polymorphisms were less likely to report depressive symptoms (compared with women with the GG genotype; p = 0.019 and p = 0.037, respectively), although moderation analysis did not support the hypotheses of an interaction with stressful life events (rs165774: odds ratio [OR] = 1.13, 95% CI 0.87–1.46, p = 0.347; rs4680: OR = 1.15, 95% CI 0.91–1.44, p = 0.238). Conclusion: Our research suggests that women with polymorphisms in COMT were less susceptible to depressive symptoms but these polymorphisms do not appear to influence susceptibility to depression in those exposed to life stressors. Further research should consider other genetic variants in catecholamine pathways and their potential impact on women's mental health.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the Publisher
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 05:31
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 05:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: stressful life events (SLEs); polymorphisms; rs165774; rs4680; catechol-O-methyltransferase COMT gene; depression
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
06 Biological Sciences > 0604 Genetics > 060412 Quantitative Genetics (incl. Disease and Trait Mapping Genetics)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920110 Inherited Diseases (incl. Gene Therapy)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1089/gtmb.2015.0028

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