SMU’s Tart presents research linking antidepressants and obesity

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Candyce D. Tart

The research of Candyce D. Tart, a doctoral candidate in the SMU Psychology Department’s Anxiety Research and Treatment Program, was featured on Medscape.com.

Tart presented the research recently at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America 30th Annual Conference. Tart collaborated on the research with principal investigator Jitender Sareen M.D., associate professor and director of research in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

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According to the Medscape.com article, the researchers “found that the obesity rate among individuals taking antidepressants during the past 12 months was 1.5 times greater compared with individuals not taking the medications. In addition, the obesity rate among subjects taking antipsychotics was more than double.”

The study relied on a large, nationally representative sample of 36,984 participants who were participants in the Canadian Community Health Survey Mental Health and Well-being.

Tart is quoted in the article as saying: “There are issues that haven’t really been addressed in a population that already is at risk for unhealthy behaviors, since the risk for obesity is added on top of their mental illness.”

Excerpt:

By Crina Frincu-Mallos, PhD
Medscape.com
March 8, 2010 (Baltimore, Maryland) — Psychotropic medications, specifically antidepressants and antipsychotics, are associated with higher rates of obesity, new national data suggest.

The research, presented here at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America 30th Annual Conference, shows that the obesity rate among individuals taking antidepressants during the past 12 months was 1.5 times greater compared with individuals not taking these medications. In addition, the obesity rate among subjects taking antipsychotics was more than double.

A collaboration between researchers from the United States and Canada, the study examined the relationship between obesity and specific classes of psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics, and mood stabilizers, in a large, nationally representative sample of 36,984 participants.

Study subjects were participants in the Canadian Community Health Survey Mental Health and Well-being.

Read “Psychotropic Medications Linked to Increased Rates of Obesity at Medscape.com. Free registration is required to access the article.

Related links:
SMU Psychology Department’s Anxiety Research and Treatment Program

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