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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


ORTIZ, Manuel S.  and  SAPUNAR, Jorge. Longitudinal association between chronic psychological stress and metabolic syndrome. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.11, pp.1278-1285. ISSN 0034-9887.


Psychological stress and depressive symptoms are variables associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS).


To determine the longitudinal association between psychological stress, depressive symptoms and MetS, and whether these variables predict MetS and its component trajectories.

Material and Methods:

Four hundred and twenty-three participants aged 44 ± 9 years (59% women), free of cardiovascular disease at baseline were enrolled into the Chilean study of psychological stress, obesity and MetS. Participants were followed-up for three years (three waves). Each year, they completed psychological questionnaires, anthropometric variables were measured, and blood samples were obtained.


Hierarchical linear regression showed that chronic psychological stress at baseline predicted the total number of MetS components (MetS score) during the third assessment wave (β = 0.147; p < 0.01). Growth curve modeling allowed to determine that participants who scored +1 standard deviation (SD) at baseline over the mean in psychological stress (βchronic stress = 0.903; 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.065; 1.741), and depressive symptoms (βdepressive symptoms = 2.482; 95% CI = 0.040; 4.923) had a higher waist circumference trajectory, as compared to those scoring −1 SD above the mean.


Chronic psychological stress is longitudinally associated with the MetS score. Further, psychological stress and depressive symptoms at baseline predicted elevated MetS score trajectories, and a highest waist circumference.

Keywords : Depression; Metabolic Syndrome; Stress; Psychological.

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