Major depression, borderline personality disorder, and visceral fat content in women

Wiebke Greggersen*, Sebastian Rudolf, Eva Fassbinder, Leif Dibbelt, Beate M. Stoeckelhuber, Fritz Hohagen, Kerstin M. Oltmanns, Kai G. Kahl, Ulrich Schweiger

*Corresponding author for this work
17 Citations (Scopus)


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with increased volumes of visceral fat and a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. In turn, affective disorders are frequently found in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is therefore unclear whether BPD per se may influence body composition. In order to clarify a potential relationship between BPD and body composition, we measured visceral fat content (VFC) in young depressed women with and without comorbid BPD and related this parameter to various features of the metabolic syndrome. Visceral fat content was measured by magnetic resonance imaging in 22 premenopausal women with MDD only, in 44 women with comorbid MDD and BPD, in 12 female BPD patients without MDD, and in 34 healthy women (CG). Data showed that depressed women without comorbid BPD had a 335% higher VFC and women with comorbid BPD had a 250% higher VFC than the CG women. When controlling for age, data showed significant effects of MDD on VFC (F = 8.4; P = 0.005). However, BPD, with or without MDD, was not related to VFC. Young depressed women with and without comorbid BPD display increased visceral fat content when compared to control subjects and may therefore constitute a risk group for the development of the metabolic syndrome. BPD per se is not an additive risk factor in this context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 12.2011

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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