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Obesity, allergic disease linked to mental health problems in adolescents

05 Mar 2019

Obesity and allergic disease increase the risk of mental health problems in adolescents, a recent Korea study has found.

The study included 703,869 adolescents who accomplished the Korean Youth Risk Behaviour Web-based Survey. Participants were divided into four groups: healthy control (n=306,625; mean age, 15.0±0.0 years; 53.3 percent male), atopic dermatitis only (n=64,567; mean age 14.9±0.0 years; 42.3 percent male), obesity only (n=34,552; mean age 15.4±0.0 years; 72.7 percent male), and both atopic dermatitis and obesity (n=7,673; mean age 15.3±0.0 years; 64.1 percent male).

Researchers also included other types of allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma.

Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that those with comorbid obesity and allergic diseases were significantly more likely to be unhappy than healthy controls: atopic dermatitis (odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95 percent CI, 1.08–1.26), allergic rhinitis (OR, 1.21; 1.13–1.29) and bronchial asthma (OR, 1.37; 1.18–1.58).

The comorbidity of allergic disease and obesity had a similar effect on the risk of reporting stress (atopic dermatitis: OR, 1.32; 1.25–1.39; allergic rhinitis: OR, 1.37; 1.31–1.43; bronchial asthma: OR, 1.39; 1.26–1.53) and depression (atopic dermatitis: OR, 1.09; 1.03–1.16; allergic rhinitis: OR, 1.07; 1.02-1.12).

Notably, obese participants who also had atopic dermatitis (OR, 1.25; 1.17–1.34), allergic rhinitis (OR, 1.27; 1.20–1.34) or bronchial asthma (OR, 1.37; 1.21–1.55) were at significantly elevated risks of suicidal ideation compared with healthy controls.

The findings of the present study show the additive burden of allergic diseases and obesity on adolescent mental health and underline the need for physicians to be aware of such an effect in order to respond to the mental health needs of their patients, said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
17 Apr 2019
A family history of testicular cancer (TC), carcinoma, mesothelioma, sarcoma, malignant melanoma and malignant neuroepithelial tumours appears to increase the risk of paediatric and young adults’ TC, suggests a recent study.
19 Jul 2016
Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) remains a significant contributor to paediatric disease burden across the world in the 21st century. Rehydration remains the mainstay of therapy, while pharmacotherapy may have adjunctive benefits. We seek to review the evolution in management strategies of paediatric AGE, in particular the child with viral AGE.
Joyce Lam Ching Mei, 28 Mar 2019
April 17 marks World Haemophilia Day, and this year’s theme is  “Reaching Out – The First Step to Care”. Adjunct Assoc Prof Joyce Lam Ching Mei, head of the Haematology Laboratory and Blood Bank and senior consultant from the Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Service at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore, speaks to Elaine Soliven on the importance of recognizing and managing bleeding disorders in primary care.
Stephen Padilla, 28 Feb 2018
The 2-year preventive oral health programme in Singapore has succeeded in lowering the presence of severe early childhood caries (SECC) among infants and toddlers, driven primarily by the implementation of targeted behaviour modifications, such as reducing the consumption of sweetened milk and increased use of fluoridated toothpaste, reports a study.