Anxious depression had a decreased basophil sub-fraction, which might be associated with involvement of inflammation in development of anxious depression, a recent study found. Researchers recruited 709 patients who were newly diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), and tested their anxiety level using the Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) Rating Scale. The association between white blood cell (WBC) subset fractions and anxiety was evaluated. They found:
• Basophil and eosinophil sub-fractions showed significant negative correlations with HAM-D anxiety/somatization factor scores (basophils: r=0.092, p=0.014, and eosinophils: r=0.075, p=0.046).
• When an anxiety score (a sum of somatic and psychic anxiety) was entered as a dependent variable, only basophils showed significant negative associations with the anxiety scores after adjusting for all other WBC subset counts and demographic factors (t=2.57, p=0.010).
Citation: Baek JH, Kim HJ, Fava M, et al. Reduced venous blood basophil count and anxious depression in patients with major depressive disorder. [Published online ahead of print May 18, 2016]. Psychiatry Investig. doi:10.4306/pi.2016.13.3.321.