Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even limited physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression in bariatric surgery patients

Date:
February 14, 2013
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
For adults undergoing bariatric surgery, just one hour of moderate-intensity physical activity a week -- or eight minutes a day -- was associated with 92 percent lower odds of treatment for depression or anxiety, according to new research.

Adults undergoing bariatric surgery who are more physically active are less likely to have depressive symptoms and to have recently received medication or counseling for depression or anxiety than their less active counterparts, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

"Typically, clinical professionals manage their patients' depression and anxiety with counseling and/or antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication," said Wendy C. King, Ph.D., epidemiologist at Pitt Public Health and lead author of the research, which is reported in this month's issue of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. "Recent research has focused on physical activity as an alternative or adjunct treatment."

Adults with severe obesity are nearly twice as likely to have a major depressive disorder (13.3 percent) or anxiety disorder (19.6 percent) when compared to the general population (7.2 and 10.2 percent, respectively). Dr. King noted the importance of treating these conditions prior to surgery, as preoperative depression and anxiety increase the risk of these conditions occurring after surgery and have been shown to have a negative impact on long-term surgically induced weight loss.

As part of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2, an observational study designed to assess the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery, Dr. King and her colleagues assessed participants' physical activity for a week prior to undergoing bariatric surgery using a small electronic device worn above the ankle. Participants also completed surveys to assess mental health functioning, depressive symptoms and treatment for psychiatric and emotional problems, including depression and anxiety.

A total of 850 adults who were seeking bariatric surgery between 2006 and 2009 from one of 10 different hospitals throughout the United States were included in the study.

Approximately one-third of participants reported depressive symptoms, while two in five reported taking medication or receiving counseling for depression or anxiety. "Those who reported treatment were more likely to report impaired mental health functioning and depressive symptoms, highlighting the need for better treatment modalities," said Dr. King.

The association between physical activity and these outcomes was strongest when only moderate intensity physical activity was considered. However, the number of steps a person walked each day, no matter the pace, also was related.

"Another goal of this study was to determine physical activity thresholds that best differentiated mental health status," said Dr. King. "We were surprised that the thresholds were really low." Just one hour of moderate-intensity physical activity a week -- or eight minutes a day -- was associated with 92 percent lower odds of treatment for depression or anxiety among adults with severe obesity. Similarly, just 4,750 steps a day -- less than half the 10,000 steps recommended for a healthy adult -- reduced odds of depression or anxiety treatment by 81 percent.

"It could be that, in this population, important mental health benefits can be gained by simply not being sedentary," said Dr. King.

Because this was an observational, cross-sectional study -- meaning patients' regular physical activity behavior and depressive symptoms were measured at the same time -- it could not prove that a patient's physical activity influenced mental health status.

"Results of the study are provocative, but we would need further research to verify that physical activity was responsible for lower levels of depressive symptoms in this patient population," said study co-author Melissa A. Kalarchian, Ph.D., associate professor at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. "Nonetheless, physical activity is a key component of behavioral weight management, and it is encouraging to consider that it may have a favorable impact on mental health as well."

Additional collaborators on this research include Kristine J. Steffen, PharmD., Ph.D., and James E. Mitchell, M.D., both of the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute; Bruce M. Wolfe, M.D., Oregon Health & Science University; and Katherine A. Elder, Ph.D., Pacific University.

This research was funded through a cooperative agreement by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wendy C. King, Melissa A. Kalarchian, Kristine J. Steffen, Bruce M. Wolfe, Katherine A. Elder, James E. Mitchell. Associations between physical activity and mental health among bariatric surgical candidates. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2013; 74 (2): 161 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.11.010

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Even limited physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression in bariatric surgery patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214103826.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2013, February 14). Even limited physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression in bariatric surgery patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214103826.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Even limited physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression in bariatric surgery patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214103826.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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