Body mass index associated with somatization, but not with depression or anxiety
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, April 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Excess weight is associated with more somatic complaints for oldest old men, according to a study published online March 29 in PLOS ONE.
Franziska U.C.E. Jung, from the Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health, and Public Health at Leipzig University in Germany, and colleagues examined data from the second follow-up of a long-term study examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health in oldest old individuals (range, 77 to 96 years). The survey assessed anxiety, depression, somatic complaints, and social support, as well as sociodemographic characteristics.
The researchers identified gender-specific differences, indicating there were more complaints for men with excess weight than their counterparts without excess weight. Body mass index was associated with somatization, but not with depression or anxiety.
“High body mass index contributed to more somatic complaints and men may be affected differently by body mass index regarding their mental well-being,” the authors write. “Based on the results of the current study, prospective research should investigate the underlying psychological or physiological processes that explain these gender differences in the association between body mass index and psychological health.”
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