Increased waist circumference is associated with an increased prevalence of mood disorders and depressive symptoms in obese women
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- Moreira, R.O., Marca, K.F., Appolinario, J.C. et al. Eat Weight Disord (2007) 12: 35. doi:10.1007/BF03327770
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OBJECTIVE: There is growing evidence suggesting that obese patients may be more prone to develop certain psychiatric diseases, especially mood disorders. However, no studies have already determined which indicator of fat distribution best explains these comorbidities. The aim of this study is to investigate which anthropometric indicator of overweight (i.e. body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC] or waist/hip ratio [WHR]) best correlates with the presence of current mood disorders and the severity of depressive symptoms in obese women. METHODS: Two hundred seventeen (217) obese women (BMI≥30 kg/m2) between 18 and 75 years old were selected to participate in the study. All participants had anthropometrical data registered. The diagnosis of current mood disorders was assessed according to the Portuguese version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [SCID]. The severity of depressive symptoms was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). RESULTS: A statistically significant association was found between BDI scores and BMI (r=0.16; p=0.018) and WC (r=0.20; p=0.004), but not WHR (r=0.10; p=0.15) or any socio-demographic variable. An increased prevalence of mood disorders was observed in the fourth quartile of WC, but not BMI or WHR, in comparison with the first and the second ones (p<0.05). DISCUSSION: In conclusion, obesity, per se, seems to be an independent variable associated with the severity of depressive symptoms and the prevalence of current mood disorders in obese women. Waist circumference, and not BMI or WHR, seems to be the anthropometric indicator of overweight and fat distribution that best explains these findings.