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UAB study confirms link between depression, abdominal obesity
Date:6/9/2010

ole, gained weight during the 15-year period of time that we examined," said Needham. "However, the people who started out reporting high levels of depression increased in abdominal obesity and BMI at a faster rate than those who reported fewer symptoms of depression at year five. In year five, the waist circumference of the high-depression group was about 1.6 centimeters greater than those who reported low depression. By year 20, the waist circumference of the high-depression group was about 2.6 centimeters higher than those who reported lower levels of depression.

"In contrast, a high initial BMI and waist circumference did not influence the rate of change in symptoms of depression over time," she said.

Needham said there have been reports showing that cortisol, a stress hormone, is related to depression and abdominal obesity. "So, there is reason to suspect that people who are depressed would have higher levels of abdominal obesity versus other parts of the body because of elevated cortisol," she said.

More studies are needed to determine the underlying causes for weight gain among those who reported being depressed, Needham said.


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Contact: Gail Short
gshort@uab.edu
205-934-8931
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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