Jacobs Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science

Is there a Relationship between Poor Iron Status and The Severity of Depression? A Study carried out on Turkish Women Living in Germany

Published on: 2015-12-18


Background: It is widely accepted that many factors including medical comorbidity can influence the development of depression in women. There is no evidence, however, that specific medical diagnoses are independent markers for severity of depression.

Objective: This study aims to investigate the iron status of Turkish female patients with depression, to find out if the iron deficiency (ID) is a risk factor in depression. In addition, it also aims to investigate a possible relationship between reduced iron capacity and intensity of the disease.

Method: A retrospective chart review comparison study was carried out to investigate the iron status of Turkish women with a diagnosis of depression, aged between 18 to 43 years old, living in Germany. The iron parameters were measured in the blood of 180 Turkish women with depression, and of 102 Turkish women without depression. The depressed patients were further sub grouped as mild (n=28), moderate (n=74) and severe depression (n=78) by using Hamilton Depression Rating Scale D (HRS). The measurements for red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin, free iron and ferritin of the participants in the Community Outpatient Clinic were recorded, and the data was statistically analysed. Patients with a family history of a blood disorder except iron deficiency anaemia, patients with increased acute phase reactants, and those who were pregnant, or suffering from malignancies, diabetes mellitus, and/or mental disorders except depression were excluded from this study. Results: We have found a significant negative correlation between ID and the severity of depression. Levels of reduce hemoglobin in peripheral blood, along with iron and ferritin and RBC were found in several of the patients suffering from severe depression.

Conclusion: These findings have been presented with consideration of their clinical implications of ID and depression with a view to conducting further research


Depression; Iron Deficiency; Turkish Women