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What's going on in Japan? (No.9)

Men with metabolic syndrome, a combination of heart attack and stroke risk factors including bulging waistlines, high blood pressure and blood sugar or fat disorders, are 2.3 times more likely to suffer from depression than men without it. No similar correlation is found among women, according to a report made at the Japanese Society of Mood Disorders conference in Kanazawa on Friday. A team of researchers from Kyushu University based their findings on a survey of 3,025 men and women aged 40 and older living in Hisayama town, Fukuoka Prefecture. Of 364 men with metabolic syndrome, 7.3 percent showed signs of depression. The rate was 2.8 percent for 910 others without the syndrome. The risks were particularly higher for men with large bellies and those with low "good" cholesterol (HDL) levels. European studies have previously linked depression to metabolic syndrome, but the reasons for the correlation have not been established. The Kyushu researchers suggested that minor brain impairment caused by the syndrome might be responsible.

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