Association of depression & health related quality of life with body composition in children and youth with obesity
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BACKGROUND: There is an increasing recognition of the relationship between mental illness and obesity in the pediatric population. Our objective was to explore the individual, biological and family determinants of depressive symptoms and HRQOL in youth with obesity in a clinical setting. METHODS: We studied 244 youth aged 8-17 years at the time of entry to a weight management program. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children questionnaire, with a score of ≥15 or antidepressant use indicating depression. HRQOL was examined using the PedsQL4.0. We considered the influence of age, sex, health history, anthropometry, body fat, family health and socioeconomic status (SES) on depression and HRQOL. RESULTS: Depression was common in this population (36.4%). In multivariate analysis, the extent of obesity (body fat) predicted both depression (OR 1.1 (1.0-1.2); p=0.05) and low HRQOL scores (β -0.63 (p<0.001)). Family SES was an important predictor of depression but not of HRQOL. In contrast to population-based studies, sex, age, pubertal status and family history of depression did not predict depressive symptoms. LIMITATIONS: As this study included children and adolescents seeking obesity treatment, results may not be generalizable to the general population of obese youth. CONCLUSIONS: Depression and low HRQOL are common in youth entering weight management programs. Extent of obesity predicted depressive symptoms and low HRQOL. Predictors of depression in this population differ from non-obese populations studied. It is important to consider these characteristics to assist clinicians in identifying these children.
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