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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 157-165

The prevalence of obesity in a sample of Egyptian psychiatric patients

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Kamel
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 81461
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.195546

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Background The relationship between mental health and obesity has been studied in different types of research studies as it is considered very important. A lot of research studies have proposed several theories and mechanisms on how the two are linked, which should be reviewed and considered in the management plan of psychiatric disorders. Objectives The aim of this study was to find out the prevalence and correlates of obesity and overweight in a sample of psychiatric patients (inpatients and outpatients) with no history of pharmacological treatment in Al-Hussein University Hospital. Patients and methods This cross-sectional study was conducted during a 6-month-period on 130 psychiatric patients who were subjected to a semistructured clinical interview according to DSM-IV-TR criteria to diagnose psychiatric disorders. Obesity assessment was carried out by measuring the weight (kg) using a scale and measuring the height (m) to calculate the BMI, which is based on the BMI equation Wt (kg)/Ht2 (m2). Results The prevalence of obesity and overweight in psychiatric patients was 66.93% (22.31% were obese, and 44.62% were overweight). The prevalence of obesity was highest in bipolar disorder (41.38%), followed by depression (37.93%), schizophrenia (10.34%), anxiety disorder (6.9%), and finally substance abuse disorder (3.45%), but the difference was not statistically significant. There was a significant correlation between sociodemographic characteristics of patients and obesity and the distribution of psychiatric disorders. Conclusion The prevalence of obesity and overweight in psychiatric patients was relatively high, and this can occur with most psychiatric disorders, especially mood disorders, and were supposed to be due to other several mechanisms and risk factors other than the effect of psychotropic medications on the weight of psychiatric patients. Moreover, there are some demographic and social factors that may moderate or mediate the association between obesity and psychiatric disorders; thus, identification of overweight and obesity, associated risk factors, and efforts to prevent weight gain should begin at the initiation of mental health treatment.

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