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It is Austrian researchers who say it: obese patients would have a greater risk than others of developing a mental pathology during their lifetime.

In France, in 2020, nearly 17% of adults suffered from obesity, according to an Inserm survey published in February 2023.

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Obesity misconceptions

This chronic disease (which corresponds to a body mass index greater than 30) is a risk factor for many pathologies: being obese thus increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart failure, joint disorders (gout, for example ), digestive problems (heartburn, for example) or cancer (breast, esophagus, endometrium, etc.).

But the list does not stop there, according to a new study carried out by the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (in Austria): obesity would also promote the occurrence of several mental illnesses.

More depression, anxiety, TCA… in women who suffer from obesity

To reach this conclusion, the Austrian researchers sifted through medical data on more than 9 million hospitalized patients collected in Austria between 1997 and 2014.

Thanks to these statistics, scientists have discovered several things: firstly, patients with obesity have an increased risk of depression, addictions, anxiety, psychoses, eating disorders (ED) and personality relative to the rest of the population. Thus, obese men would have a risk approximately 2 times greater than non-obese of developing depression during their life.

Second, obese women are even more affected than obese men by mental pathologies – with the exception of cigarette addiction and schizophrenia.

In obese patients, it is essential to remain alert to signs that may indicate the development of mental pathology“conclude the Austrian researchers.

Source :Translational Psychiatry

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