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Obesity is a major public health burden associated with neuropsychiatric comorbidities leading to social and occupational impairment. Given the growing prevalence of both obesity and mental disorders worldwide, understanding the risk factors of obesity-related neuropsychiatric comorbidities is crucial to develop preventive strategies and individualized treatments. Recent findings suggest that adiposity-driven inflammation contributes to neuropsychiatric comorbidities in obesity. However, not all obese subjects afflicted with chronic inflammation develop neuropsychiatric symptoms, suggesting additional risk factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of personal history of major depressive disorder (MDD) on obesity-related inflammation and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and their relationship. A case-control study was conducted comparing 66 obese patients (body mass index > 35 kg/m) and 22 healthy non-obese participants, free of any current neuropsychiatric diseases including MDD. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Neurotoxicity Rating Scale (NRS). Sociodemographic and clinical variables were gathered and blood was collected for the measurement of serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Multiple regression analyses were performed to assess the contribution of obesity and personal history of MDD to clinical outcomes and inflammatory status in study participants. Hs-CRP levels as well as NRS scores were significantly increased in the obese group. Overall, personal history of depression accounted for increased NRS scores but no significant association was found with inflammatory status. In addition, history of depression did not significantly modulate the relationship of obesity-related inflammation with NRS scores. Interestingly, obese individuals with history of recurrent MDD (n=13) exhibited higher scores in the cognitive and sickness symptoms dimensions of the NRS compared to obese subjects with history of one depressive episode only. Findings indicate that history of depression contributes to neuropsychiatric symptoms, but not to systemic inflammation, in obese subjects free of current depressive episode. These results provide relevant information on the risk factors that may help identify obese subjects with increased risk of neuropsychiatric comorbitity.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Brain, behavior, and immunity
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