Navigation Links
New links among alcohol abuse, depression, obesity in young women found
Date:9/22/2009

There is new evidence that depression, obesity and alcohol abuse or dependency are interrelated conditions among young adult women but not men.

Using data collected when young adults were 24, 27 and 30 years of age, a team of University of Washington researchers found that nearly half the sample of 776 young adults tracked during the study met the criteria for one of these conditions at each of these time points.

"The proportion of people with all three of these conditions at any one point is small," said Carolyn McCarty, the lead author of a new study and a UW research associate professor of pediatrics and psychology. "For women there is a great deal of overlap between these common emotional and health problems that span early adulthood. Men may develop one of these conditions but they don't tend to lead another one later on."

"These conditions are major public health problems. They take a toll on families and community and are not subject to quick fixes. It requires a lot of time, money and energy to treat them."

The study found that:

  • Women with an alcohol disorder at age 24 were more than three times as likely to be obese when they were 27.
  • Women who are obese at 27 were more than twice as likely to be depressed when they were 30.
  • Women who are depressed at 27 were at increased risk for alcohol disorders at 30.
  • Obesity offers men some protection against later developing depression.

McCarty said the research did not uncover any step-by-step progression from one these disorders to another. However, she said clinicians treating women with one of these conditions should be aware that patients might develop another disorder.

McCarty said there are two possibilities as to why women with alcohol disorder at 24 were more likely to be obese at 27.

"The caloric intake associated with drinking alcohol may increase metabolic processes leading to weight gain. Or there may be an underlying connection to levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the reward pathway in the brain because the same pathways reward both food and alcohol intake. It also may be that some people substitute food for alcohol, leading to obesity."

She said body image may play a key role in why women who are obese at 27 are more likely to report depression three years later.

"Body image is particularly important for women. There seems to be a transfer that when women feel bad they eat more. That can have devastating effects emotionally and physically. But for men experiencing obesity, the reverse is true, and obesity seems to be protective against depression. It's the so-called 'jolly fat man' theory, which suggests that overweight people are actually happier."

The link between obesity at 27 and subsequent depression at 30 among women may develop as a result of individuals self-medicating themselves.

"People who feel more emotionally down may use alcohol for a quick lift or a short-term boost. The two conditions may be connected by an underlying stress mechanism. Stress is linked to depression, so women under stress potentially eat and drink more," she said.

The study also showed that income has a significant effect on obesity at age 24 and those with higher incomes had a lower risk for weight problem.

McCarty said that finding is not surprising since many of the least nutritional items are inexpensive, and low income areas do not have the same sources of fresh fruits and vegetables that more affluent ones have.

"It costs more to eat well," she said.

McCarty believes that intervention programs are needed and can play a key role in reducing the growing public health burden caused by these conditions.

"Early prevention is important because the sooner we start the more impact we can have. Interventions should include stress management so we can provide young people with tools to cope with situations and emotions. We also need to explore underlying factors that predispose people to these conditions, such as a family background that is not supportive or is toxic."

Data from the study was drawn from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project, which has been tracking the life course of an urban group of now young adults since 1985. The group was almost evenly split between men and women and was 47 percent white, 26 percent African-American, 22 percent Asian American and 5 percent Native American.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Links Epilepsy to Brain Protein
2. Creation of international health links center
3. Recent Article Reveals Medical Ghostwriting Suppressed Links Between Synthetic Hormones and Breast Cancer
4. New study finds links between video-game playing and health risks in adults
5. Hit the Links for a Healthy Dose of Fun with Play Golf America
6. Intimate abuse study finds clear links with poor health and calls for holistic primary care approach
7. Moles and melanoma -- researchers find genetic links to skin cancer
8. Genetic Links to Rare Liver Disease Found
9. Study Links Cancerous Tumors With Depression
10. Vitamin D Linked to HDL Cholesterol - Shaklee Corporation Research Links Vitamin D with Key Biomarkers for Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease
11. Locum Leaders Links Physicians to New Jobs and Clinical Education Through Social Media
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Las Vegas client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing ... Grove, in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world ... in the report includes the following: , ... by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: