Low IGF1 levels are associated with a lower prevalence and incidence of anxiety disorders in primary care patients (DETECT cohort) and the general population (SHIP cohort)
C. Sievers1, M. Auer1, J. Klotsche2, L. Pieper2, A. Athanasoulia1, H. Schneider3, W. März4,5,6, M. Nauck7, H. Völzke7, U. John7, H. Freyberger7, N. Friedrich7, R. Biffar7, H. Wittchen2, G. Stalla1, H. Wallaschofski7 & H. Grabe7
Objective: In vitro and in vivo models revealed that the somatotropic system exerts central effects on the central nervous system. The objective of this study was to investigate for the first time whether varying endogenous IGF1 levels are associated with mental health outcomes, namely affective disorders, in humans.
Design and methods: We included 6773 subjects from the DETECT study, a representative study on primary care patients in Germany with a 4.5-year follow-up period and 4079 subjects from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), a population-based study with a 5-year follow-up period. Main predictor was the baseline IGF1 value categorized as <10th percentile, between the 10th and the 90th percentile (reference) and >90th percentile. Outcome measures were affective disorders.
Results: In both cohorts (DETECT and SHIP), we found a strong association in the male population with low IGF1 levels and a lower prevalence and incidence of any anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, in all adjusted models (DETECT; any anxiety disorder: OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.360.95; SHIP; GAD OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.350.94) compared to subjects with IGF1 levels in the normal range. In the SHIP, but not in the DETECT cohort, this association was also seen for female subjects (SHIP; GAD: OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.340.83).
Conclusion: Low IGF1 levels are associated with lower rates of anxiety disorders in men and possibly in women.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.