Overweight women are at higher risk of developing anxiety, according to a new study. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders which can be caused by many factors.
According to a new study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the amount of abdominal fat in a woman could be a strong indicator of anxiety.
As both weight regulation and mental health are influenced by hormonal changes, overweight women are significantly more likely to have anxiety than slimmer women.
More than 23 percent of adult women in the US are suffering from a type of anxiety disorder. Anxiety has an association with several medical problems such as diabetes, respiratory disorders, drug abuse, heart disease, and thyroid problems.
Previous studies have found an increase in the frequency of anxiety in middle-aged women so for the new study, researchers focused on middle-aged women. They claim that overweight women are at higher risk of developing anxiety.
The study involved data from 5,580 middle-aged women between 40 and 59 years old from 11 Latin American countries. 57.9% were post-menopausal and 61.3% reported having anxiety.
The study findings revealed that under 56 percent of women in the lower third for waist-to-height ratio had anxiety. Then the other groups had the figures at 59.7% in the middle third and 68.4% in the upper third.
“This study provides valuable insights for healthcare providers treating middle-aged women, because it implies that waist-to-height ratio could be a good marker for evaluating patients for anxiety,” Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said.