Niki Antypa, Nicole Vogelzangs, Ybe Meesters, Robert Schoevers, Brenda W J H Penninx*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The chronotype, being a morning or an evening type, can influence an individual's psychological health. Studies have shown a link between depressed mood and being an evening type; however, most studies have used symptom scales and not diagnostic criteria, and confounding factors such as sleep patterns and somatic health factors have often not been considered. This study aims to examine the association between chronotype and depressive (major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia) and anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social phobia) disorders diagnosed using clinical interviews, while taking into account relevant sociodemographic, clinical, somatic health, and sleep parameters.

METHODS: Data from a large cohort, the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety were used (n = 1,944), which included 676 currently depressed and/or anxious patients, 831 remitted patients, and 437 healthy controls. Chronotype was assessed using the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire.

RESULTS: Our results showed that current depressive and/or anxiety disorders were associated with a late chronotype (β = .10, P = .004) even when adjusting for sociodemographic, somatic health, and sleep-related factors (β = .09, P = .03). When examining each type of disorder separately, MDD only, but not dysthymia or specific anxiety disorders, was associated with the late chronotype. The late chronotype also reported significant diurnal mood variation (worse mood in the morning).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show a clear association between MDD and late chronotype (being an evening type), after controlling for a range of pertinent factors. A late chronotype is therefore associated with a current status of MDD and deserves the relevant clinical attention when considering treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

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