International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 54, Supplement 1, pp 30–36

Serious psychological distress and its associations with body mass index: findings from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

  • Guixiang Zhao
  • Earl S. Ford
  • Chaoyang Li
  • Tara W. Strine
  • Satvinder Dhingra
  • Joyce T. Berry
  • Ali H. Mokdad
Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-009-0004-3

Cite this article as:
Zhao, G., Ford, E.S., Li, C. et al. Int J Public Health (2009) 54(Suppl 1): 30. doi:10.1007/s00038-009-0004-3

Abstract

Objectives:

To examine the associations of body mass index (BMI) with serious psychological distress (SPD) after taking into consideration the obesity-related comorbidities (ORCs), lifestyle factors, or emotional support.

Methods:

Self-reported data (n = 153,865) from the 2007 BRFSS were analyzed. Psychological distress was assessed by the Kessler-6 Questionnaire; respondents with a Kessler–6 score of ≥ 13 were defined as having SPD. The adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using log-binomial regression analyses.

Results:

Overall, 3.2 % of U.S. adults had SPD. The prevalence of SPD was significantly higher among men who were underweight or obese, or among women who were underweight, overweight or obese, compared to those with a normal BMI. The APRs for SPD were 1.58 (95 % CI: 1.06–2.35) in adults who were underweight, and were 1.21 (95 % CI: 1.04–1.41), 1.31 (95 % CI: 1.07–1.61), and 1.36 (95 % CI: 1.13–1.63), respectively, in obese adults with BMI of 30−<35 kg/m2, 35−<40 kg/m2, and ≥40 kg/m2 (adults with a normal BMI as the referent).

Conclusion:

An abnormal BMI is associated with an increased likelihood of having SPD independent of multiple ORCs, lifestyle factors, or emotional support.

Keywords:

Body mass index Mental illness Serious psychological distress Obesity-related co-morbidities BRFSS 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guixiang Zhao
    • 1
  • Earl S. Ford
    • 1
  • Chaoyang Li
    • 1
  • Tara W. Strine
    • 1
  • Satvinder Dhingra
    • 1
  • Joyce T. Berry
    • 2
  • Ali H. Mokdad
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Adult and Community HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Health Metrics and EvaluationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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