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Childhood overweight and obesity and the risk of depression across the lifespan

Childhood overweight and obesity and the risk of depression across the lifespan

Title: Childhood overweight and obesity and the risk of depression across the lifespan
Author: Gibson-Smith, Deborah
Halldorsson, Thorhallur I.
Bot, Mariska
Brouwer, Ingeborg A.
Visser, Marjolein
Thorsdottir, Inga
Birgisdottir, Bryndis E.
Gudnason, Vilmundur   orcid.org/0000-0001-5696-0084
Eiriksdottir, Gudny   orcid.org/0000-0002-8197-0652
Launer, Lenore J.
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Date: 2020-01-21
Language: English
University/Institute: Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland
School: Health Sciences
Department: Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition
Other departments
Faculty of Medicine
Series: BMC Pediatrics; 20(1)
ISSN: 1471-2431
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-020-1930-8
Subject: Body mass index; Childhood obesity; Depressive symptoms; Lifetime major depressive disorder; Offita; Börn; Þunglyndi; Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3361

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Gibson-Smith , D , Halldorsson , T I , Bot , M , Brouwer , I A , Visser , M , Thorsdottir , I , Birgisdottir , B E , Gudnason , V , Eiriksdottir , G , Launer , L J , Harris , T B & Gunnarsdottir , I 2020 , ' Childhood overweight and obesity and the risk of depression across the lifespan ' , BMC Pediatrics , vol. 20 , no. 1 , 25 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-020-1930-8


Background: Obesity has been longitudinally associated with depression but only few studies take a life course approach. This longitudinal study investigates whether being overweight or obese at age 8 and 13 years is associated with depressive symptoms more than 60 years later and whether this association is independent of late-life body mass index (BMI). We also investigated the association of being overweight/obese at age 8 or 13 years with ever having major depressive disorder (lifetime MDD). Method: This analysis is based on a sub-sample of 889 AGES-Reykjavik participants with measured BMI data from early life. Late-life depressive symptoms were measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and lifetime MDD was assessed at late-life using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relationships between BMI (continuous and categorical) at age 8 or 13 years, and late-life depressive symptoms (measured as GDS ≥ 5) or lifetime MDD, adjusted for sex, education, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol use. In a separate model, additional adjustments were made for late-life BMI. Results: One hundred and one subjects (11%) had depressive symptoms at late-life (GDS ≥ 5), and 39 subjects (4.4%) had lifetime MDD. Being overweight or obese at age 8 or 13 years was not associated with higher depressive symptoms during late-life, irrespective of late-life BMI. Being overweight or obese at age 8 years, but not age 13 years was associated with an increased risk of lifetime MDD (Odds Ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for age 8 = 4.03[1.16-13.96]P = 0.03 and age 13 = 2.65[0.69-10.26] P = 0.16, respectively). Conclusion: Being overweight in childhood was associated with increased odds of lifetime MDD, although the magnitude of the risk is uncertain given the small numbers of participants with lifetime MDD. No clear association was observed between childhood and adolescent overweight/obesity and late-life depressive symptoms irrespective of late life BMI.


The Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study is funded by NIH contract N01-AG-12100, the NIA Intramural Research Program, Hjartavernd (the Icelandic Heart Association), and the Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament). The funding body did not take part neither in the design of the study, the data collection, the data analysis, nor the interpretation of data or in the writing of the manuscript. DGS, MB, MV, IB and IG were supported by the EU-MoodFood grant. Funding for this research is provided by EU FP7 MooDFOOD Project ‘Multi-country cOllaborative project on the rOle of Diet, FOod-related behaviour, and Obesity in the prevention of Depression’, Grant agreement no. 613598. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s).

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