Obesity links depression and high blood pressure

Obesity links depression and high blood pressure Research suggests there is a significant association, mediated through obesity, between symptoms of depression and high blood pressure.
Psychological factors are known to be related to high blood pressure and heart disease, lead researcher Dr. Azad Alamgir Kabir commented to Reuters Health. “This study shows a probable pathway between depression and development of (high blood pressure). If we know the causal pathways, we can develop effective prevention techniques,” the researcher added.

The researchers studied 1,017 individuals, between 12 and 62 years old, from 561 families participating in the Bogalusa Heart Study. Sixty percent were white and 52 percent were women. On average, the subjects were overweight, but not obese. Roughly one third were presumed to have depression and 13.4 percent had high blood pressure.

In the American Journal of Hypertension, Kabir from Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport and colleagues report that symptoms of depression were associated with high blood pressure indirectly through an association with increased body weight in both whites and African Americans.

“Since depressed individuals are more likely to be overweight, special care should be taken to address the symptoms of depression in the general population,” Kabir said. “Such a technique may also be helpful to develop an effective weight reduction program and subsequently (a high blood pressure) prevention program,” the researcher added.
Megan Rauscher
SOURCE: American Journal of Hypertension, June 2006.
Study Links Obesity, Depression
CHICAGO – Fat people are not more jolly, according to a study that instead found obesity is strongly linked with depression and other mood disorders.

Whether obesity might cause these problems or is the result of them is not certain, and the research does not provide an answer, but there are theories to support both arguments.

Depression often causes people to abandon activities, and some medications used to treat mental illness can cause weight gain. On the other hand, obesity is often seen as a stigma, and overweight people often are subject to teasing and other hurtful behavior.

The study of more than 9,000 adults found that mood and anxiety disorders including depression were about 25 percent more common in the obese people studied than in the non-obese. Substance abuse was an exception – obese people were about 25 percent less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than slimmer participants.

The results appear in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, released Monday. The lead author is Dr. Gregory Simon, a researcher with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, a large nonprofit health plan in the Pacific Northwest.

The results “suggest that the cultural stereotype of the jolly fat person is more a figment of our imagination than a reality,” said Dr. Wayne Fenton of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study.

“The take-home message for doctors is to be on the lookout for depression among their patients who are overweight,” Dr. Fenton said.

Both conditions are quite common. About one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and depression affects about 10 percent of the population, or nearly 21 million U.S. adults in a given year.

SOURCE: By Lindsey Tanner< Associated Press (c) 2006 Augusta Chronicle, The. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning.

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