Depression and Anxiety are associated with obesity and smoking

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Depression and Anxiety are associated with obesity and smoking according to a recent study published in the journal of General Hospital Psychiatry. The study analyzed responses from 200,000 adults in 38 states via the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey that asked participants about smoking habits, physical activity, weight, current depression or anxiety, and previous diagnosis of depression or anxiety. 15.7 percent of the respondents had a previous depression diagnosis, 11.3 percent a previous anxiety diagnosis, and 8.7 percent reported having current depression. The study found that those with an anxiety disorder increased their odds of smoking and obesity by 30 percent. Additionally, those that had a prior diagnosis of depression or current depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese or smoke. According to Tara Stine, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some patients who are overweight may be prone to depression because of societal attitudes towards obesity. Also, while depression can lead to decreased appetite and weight loss in some individuals, others eat more and gain weight.” The following is an excerpt of an article from Health Behavior News Service that discusses the risk associations:

The study, in the March/April issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry, compiled data from more than 200,000 adults in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All participated in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a large telephone survey that monitors the prevalence of key health behaviors.

The survey asked respondents if they were currently depressed or had ever had a diagnosis of depression or anxiety. Other questions addressed smoking habits, weight, physical activity and alcohol consumption.

About 8.7 percent of the respondents had current depression, 15.7 percent had a previous depression diagnosis and 11.3 percent had had an anxiety diagnosis at some time.

People with current depression or a previous diagnosis of depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as those who were not depressed, the research found. Those with an anxiety disorder were 30 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as those without anxiety were. The study also said that those with depression and anxiety were more likely to be physically inactive and to be binge or heavy drinkers.

“Chronic diseases are risk factors for depression, so [the health care system] must be attuned to recognizing and treating the depression that often coexists with such chronic diseases,” Strine said.

Click here to read the rest of the article from Health Behavior News Service

Click here for information on anxiety and depression

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