The role of cholesterol levels in mood disorders and suicide

Luigi Janiri, Gino Pozzi, Berardis D De, Conti Cm, N Serroni, Moschetta Fs, A Carano, Salerno Rm, M Cavuto, B Farina, M Alessandrini, Giannantonio M. Di

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


The individuation of sensitive and specific biochemical markers, easily assessable on large samples of subjects and usefully employable as predictors of severe psychiatric disorders, such as mood disorders, could help clinicians to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic processes facilitating the long-term follow-up. In particular, serum cholesterol levels may potentially be optimal markers due to their relative easy sampling and low cost. The involvement of cholesterol in affective disorders such as Major Depression (MD), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Bipolar Disorders (BD) is a debated issue in current research. However, current literature is controversial and, to date, it is still not possible to reach an agreement on its possible usefulness of cholesterol as a biological marker of affective disorders. Despite the controversial results on the relationships between cholesterol levels and affective disorders, the majority of literature seems to show a more consistent relationship between cholesterol levels and suicidal behaviour, with few studies that have found no relationships. The aim of this review is to elucidate current facts and views about the role of cholesterol levels in mood disorders as well as its involvement in suicidal behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • cholesterol levels
  • mood disorders
  • suicide

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