Depression is the fourth most common causes of disease burden worldwide, and according to the World Health Organization, it is expected to rank first in the 2030s​.

The majority of studies investigating associations of dietary patterns with depression have focused on adherence to the Mediterranean diet and recent meta-analyses concluded that this diet was generally associated with lower risk of depression​.

Similarly, adherence to the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, was associated with lower number of cases of depression​ and new depression diagnosis​. Recently, higher adherence to the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD), was cross-sectionally associated with lower risk of prevalent depression in diabetic patients​.

The majority of available studies on this subject are cross-sectional analyses and have yielded mixed results. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to assess the prospective association between adherence to the three aforementioned dietary patterns and incident depression in an adult population.

Maastricht study

The researchers used data from The Maastricht Study​, a Netherlands based population-based observational prospective cohort study involving patients aged 40–75 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The study focused on the aetiology, pathophysiology, complications, and comorbidities of T2DM and other chronic diseases.

The present study includes longitudinal data from the first 3451 participants, who completed the baseline survey between November 2010 and September 2013.