Longitudinal associations of obesity with affective disorders and suicidality in the baltimore epidemiologic catchment area follow-up study

Christine A. Henriksen, Amber A. Mather, Corey S. Mackenzie, Oscar Joseph Bienvenu, Jitender Sareen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our aim was to examine the longitudinal associations between obesity and mental health variables (psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal behaviors). Data were from waves 3 and 4 of the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area study (N = 1071). Participants were aged 30 to 86 years at wave 3 (mean, 47.6 years; SD, 12.8). The prevalence of obesity increased from 27.6% to 39.1% during the follow-up. Logistic regression analyses revealed no associations between baseline obesity and onset of mental disorders or suicidal behaviors between waves 3 and 4 in fully adjusted models; however, baseline obesity predicted new-onset suicide attempts in models adjusted for sociodemographics and mental disorders. Baseline depression predicted weight gain during the 11-year follow-up period (F = 4.014, p < 0.05), even after controlling for important confounders. Overall, most mental health variables were not associated with obesity, suggesting that clinicians and others should be wary of "weight-ism" and avoid making the assumption that higher body weight relates to mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume202
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Obesity
  • longitudinal
  • mental disorders
  • overweight
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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