Scientific and medical

Obesity affects women’s mental health

Informants / Khorasan Razavi Obesity increases the risk of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and others.

According to SitekDaily, people who are obese are at increased risk of developing mental disorders. As the results of recent research by the Medical University of Vienna and the Vienna Science Center show, this applies to all age groups, and women are more likely to suffer from diseases than men.

The research group analyzed a population-based data set of all patients admitted to Austrian hospitals from 1997 to 2014 in order to determine the relative risks of obesity-related diseases and to identify significant differences between the sexes. In conclusion, a diagnosis of obesity was found to significantly increase the likelihood of developing a wide range of psychiatric disorders including depression, nicotine addiction, psychosis, anxiety, eating, and personality disorders in all age groups.

From a clinical perspective, these findings underscore the need to raise awareness of the psychiatric diagnoses of obese patients and, if necessary, to consult with specialists in the early stages of diagnosis, explains Michael Lautner, MD, study leader in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Obesity as the first diagnosis

“In order to understand the diseases that often appear before and after obesity is diagnosed, we had to come up with a new method,” said researcher Alma Dervik. This work allowed us to identify common trends and patterns in disease occurrence. For all co-diagnoses, except for the psychotic spectrum, obesity was likely to be the first diagnosis made before the advent of the psychiatric diagnosis.

Until now, clinicians often assumed that psychiatric medications were responsible for the association between psychiatric disorders and diabetes, but lead researcher Alexander Kautsky from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy explained that this may be true for schizophrenia, where we see the reverse chronological order. Our data do not support this for depression or other psychiatric diagnoses, however, whether obesity directly affects mental health or whether early stages of psychiatric disorders go unrecognized is unclear.

Obesity affects women's mental health

greater impact on women

Surprisingly, the researchers found significant gender differences in most disorders, with women showing increased risks for all disorders except schizophrenia and nicotine addiction. While 16.66% of all obese men also suffer from nicotine addiction, this was observed in only 8.58% of obese women. The opposite is true for depression. The rate of diagnosed depressive episodes in obese women was about 3 times higher (13.3% obese, 4.8% not obese) and obese men were more severely affected (6.61% obese, 3.21% not obese).

The need for screening for mental health problems

Obesity affects more than 670 million people worldwide. The fact that obesity causes metabolic disorders and serious complications in the heart and metabolism (diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia) has been extensively researched before.

According to current research, the fact that obesity often precedes severe mental disorders confirms its importance as a risk factor for health problems in all children. This is mainly important for younger age groups where there is a higher risk; Therefore, the researchers concluded that comprehensive screening for mental health problems in patients with obesity is necessary to facilitate prevention or ensure appropriate treatment.

The results of this research have been published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

the end of the letter

Related Articles

Back to top button