18 September 2009

Drinking, weight, depression linked

In women under age 30, drinking to excess, overeating and depression may all be tied together, according to new research.


In women under age 30, drinking to excess, overeating and depression may all be tied together, according to new research.

A study in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry found that women with alcohol abuse issues at age 24 had three times the risk of obesity by age 27.

And women who were obese at 27, the researchers found, were twice as likely to be depressed by the time they turned 30.

"When you look across time, alcohol use and obesity predicted later depression. The big picture here is that these disorders, though they're different in manifestation and symptoms, appear to be related for some groups of women," lead study author Carolyn McCarty, a research associate professor at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Research Institute, said.

Depressed people ‘seem to be overweight’
Men in the same age groups did not have the same increased risks, according to the study. How women respond to stress, as well as biological differences in the brain, may play a role in the gender difference, McCarty said.

Dr Gregory Simon, a psychiatrist at the Group Health Centre for Health Studies in Seattle who was not involved in the study, noted that many depressed people tend to be overweight.

"From a clinical or health care provider perspective, when you think about what to do about one of these problems, you have to think about what to do about the other," he said. – (HealthDay News, September 2009)

Read more:
Obese more likely to be in debt


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Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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