Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol

Date:
June 15, 2009
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
A new study connects abnormalities of the "stress" hormone cortisol with symptoms of depression in obese children, and confirms that obesity and depression often occur together, even in children.

A new study connects abnormalities of the "stress" hormone cortisol with symptoms of depression in obese children, and confirms that obesity and depression often occur together, even in children. The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

"There is evidence in adults that abnormal regulation of cortisol plays a role in both obesity and depression," said the study's lead author, Panagiota Pervanidou, MD, of Athens University Medical School in Athens, Greece. "Our study indicates that cortisol abnormalities may underlie obesity and depression starting in childhood."

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps the body respond to stress but also has other functions, including converting fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. Normally, levels of this hormone peak in the early morning, start to drop in late morning and reach their low point at night.

However, depressed adults have slightly elevated cortisol levels at night—"the endocrine equivalent of chronic stress," Pervanidou said. This chronic elevation of cortisol contributes to development of the metabolic syndrome, which includes abdominal obesity and other risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In this new study, Pervanidou and colleagues measured cortisol five times a day in the saliva of 50 obese children and teenagers as well as in their blood in the morning. The 20 boys and 30 girls, ages 8 to 15 years, were patients in the Athens University pediatric obesity clinic and did not have a prior diagnosis of depression. All subjects completed the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), a questionnaire that assesses self-reported symptoms of depression.

Cortisol levels in the saliva in the afternoon and evening correlated positively with symptoms of depression, the authors reported. The more depressive symptoms that subjects reported, the higher the cortisol levels at those times.

This finding indicates that obesity and depression may not only be related to behavior but also may have a hormonal link, according to Pervanidou. Because obesity and depression often co-occur, she said that prevention and screening should focus on both disorders and should start in childhood.

"We recommend that obese children be screened for depression and anxiety, especially female adolescents, who have the highest risk," she said. "In addition, children with a diagnosis of depression should be evaluated for disordered eating, because these patients frequently develop obesity or anorexia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142520.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2009, June 15). Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142520.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142520.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins