Obesity, allergic disease linked to mental health problems in adolescents
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.