Association of depression and anxiety disorders with weight change in a prospective community-based study of children followed up into adulthood

Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Mass 02111, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.25). 04/2006; 160(3):285-91. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.160.3.285
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate childhood to adulthood weight change associated with anxiety and depression.
The Children in the Community Study. A prospective longitudinal investigation.
Albany and Saratoga Counties, New York.
Eight hundred twenty individuals (403 females and 417 males) assessed at 4 time points: in 1983 when they were 9 to 18 years old (n = 776), in 1985 to 1986 when they were 11 to 22 years old (n = 775), in 1991 to 1994 when they were 17 to 28 years old (n = 776), and in 2001 to 2003 when they were 28 to 40 years old (n = 661).
Anxiety disorders and depression assessed by structured diagnostic interview.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention body mass index z score (BMIz), a measure of weight status; and association of anxiety and depression with BMIz level and annual change.
In females, anxiety disorders were associated with higher weight status, a BMIz of 0.13 (95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.25) units higher compared with females without anxiety disorders. Female depression was associated with a gain in BMIz of 0.09 units/y (95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.15 units/y), modified by the age when depression was first observed, such that early depression onset was associated with a higher subsequent BMIz than depression onset at older ages. In males, childhood depression was associated with a lower BMIz (-0.46; 95% confidence interval, -0.93 to 0.02 units lower at the age of 9 years), but BMIz trajectories for males with or without depression converged in adulthood; male anxiety disorders were not substantively associated with weight status.
Anxiety disorders and depression were associated with a higher BMIz in females, whereas these disorders in males were not associated with a higher BMIz. These results, if causal and confirmed in other prospective studies, support treating female anxiety and depression as part of comprehensive obesity prevention efforts.

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