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Minerva Psichiatrica 2018 December;59(4):181-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.18.01976-3


language: English

Depression and anxiety screening among school students and its relation to weight status

Khaled A. ALSWAT 1 , Abdullah D. AL-SHEHRI 2, Tariq A. ALJUAID 2, Bassam A. ALZAIDI 2, Hassan D. ALASMARI 2

1 Department of Medicine, Taif University School of Medicine, Taif, Saudi Arabia; 2 Medical Resident, Taif University School of Medicine, Taif, Saudi Arabia

BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that an increase in weight is significantly correlated with anxiety symptoms and an increased risk of depression among adolescents. Our aim was to assess the relationships between mood disorders and weight among adolescents.
METHODS: This research uses a cross-sectional study from 14 different intermediate and high schools located in Taif, Saudi Arabia between September 2014-15. We excluded any students with chronic medical illness, existing psychiatric disorders, and those with learning disabilities. To screen for depression, we used the validated Arabic Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Scores <5 were considered normal and >5 were deemed depressed. The anxiety was assessed using the Arabic Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, with scores <5 considered normal and >5 were regarded as anxious.
RESULTS: A total of 510 students participated with a mean age of 15.23 years. The majority was male and the mean BMI was 22.12 kg/m2. A total of 55.6% participants screened positively for anxiety, and they were more likely to be female (P=0.001), have higher BMI (P=0.033), and have a larger waist (P=0.032). A total of 68.9% of the students screened positively for depression, and they were more likely to be female (P=0.001), have a larger waist (P=0.004), report a sedentary lifestyle (P=0.023), and be passive smokers (P=0.000).
CONCLUSIONS: A high percentage of the students screened positively for depression and anxiety, but the majority were classified as mild. Being female, obese, and having a larger waist were significant factors that increased the risk of depression and anxiety.

KEY WORDS: Body Mass Index - Obesity - Depression - Anxiety

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