Relationships between Obesity and DSM-IV Major Depressive Disorder, Suicide Ideation, and Suicide Attempts: Results from a General Population Study

Division of Epidemiology, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 03/2000; 90(2):251-7. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.90.2.251
Source: PubMed


This study sought to test the relationships between relative body weight and clinical depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts in an adult US general population sample.
Respondents were 40,086 African American and White participants interviewed in a national survey. Outcome measures were past-year major depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. The primary predictor was relative body weight, treated both continuously (i.e., body mass index [BMI]) and categorically in logistic regression analyses. Covariates included age, income and education, disease status, and drug and alcohol use.
Relative body weight was associated with major depression, suicide attempts, and suicide ideation, although relationships were different for men and women. Among women, increased BMI was associated with both major depression and suicide ideation. Among men, lower BMI was associated with major depression, suicide attempts, and suicide ideation. There were no racial differences.
Differences in BMI, or weight status, were associated with the probability of past-year major depression, suicide attempts, and suicide ideation. Longitudinal studies are needed to differentiate the causal pathways and mechanisms linking physical and psychiatric conditions.

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    • "A long list of health problems includes diabetes (Mokdad et al, 2000), hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke (Pi-Sunyer et al, 1993), hyperlipidemia, gall bladder and liver diseases and osteoarthritis (Flegal et al, 1998). This list expends to include depression (Carpenter et al, 2000), impaired quality of life (QOL) gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility) and disability for women (Han et al, 1998), increased early deaths are linked with obesity (Calle et al, 1999; Pi-Sunyer, 1991; Pi-Sunyer, et al, 1998). "
    Dataset: 18-SUP-220

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    • "As such, more research is needed to explore these links within a population of women with PCOS. Moreover, Carpenter et al. (2000) found that obesity was associated with an increased risk of depression and suicidal ideation among women in the United States. Similarly, Ekbäck et al. (2009) report that women in their study, who suffered from hirsutism, had also contemplated suicide as a way of escaping their condition. "
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    • "Surprising, however, these non-signficant findings are also consistent with the results of other researchers investigating the link between obesity and depressive symptoms (see Carpenter et al., 2000; Siegel et al., 2000). Importantly, there are several studies that are not consistent with our results and those of Carpenter et al. (2000), Siegel et al. (2000), Davis et al. (2005) and Dietz (1998). Specifically, there are other studies that have demonstrated a link between BMI and depressive symptoms in parents and adolescents (for example, see Davis et al., 2005; Markowitz et al., 2008; Simon et al., 2006). "
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