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PURPOSE: Depression is associated with low-grade systemic inflammation and impaired intestinal function, both of which may reduce dietary iron absorption. Low iron status has been associated with depression in adults and adolescents. In Swiss adolescents, we determined the associations between paediatric major depressive disorder (pMDD), inflammation, intestinal permeability and iron status. METHODS: This is a matched case-control study in 95 adolescents with diagnosed pMDD and 95 healthy controls aged 13-17 years. We assessed depression severity using the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised. We measured iron status (serum ferritin (SF) and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR)), inflammation (C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha-1-acid-glycoprotein (AGP)), and intestinal permeability (intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP)). We assessed history of ID diagnosis and treatment with a self-reported questionnaire. RESULTS: SF concentrations did not differ between adolescents with pMDD (median (IQR) SF: 31.2 (20.2, 57.0) μg/L) and controls (32.5 (22.6, 48.3) μg/L, p = 0.4). sTfR was lower among cases than controls (4.50 (4.00, 5.50) mg/L vs 5.20 (4.75, 6.10) mg/L, p 

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Nutr

Publication Date



Adolescents, Case–control study, Depression, Inflammation, Iron deficiency, Iron status, Major depressive disorder, Paediatric major depressive disorder, iFABP