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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2011;41(2):155-71.

Childhood parental loss and bipolar spectrum in obese bariatric surgery candidates.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Luigi Sacco University Hospital, Milan, Italy. spdc@hsacco.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Early adverse experiences such as sexual, verbal, or physical abuse and parental neglect have been associated with a higher risk of weight or eating problems in adulthood, and death or prolonged separation from parents during childhood has been implicated as a correlate of adult psychiatric disorders that are widely represented in obese subjects seeking bariatric surgery.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the rate of childhood parental loss in obese bariatric surgery candidates and explore its association with a psychiatric diagnosis and clinical and weight/eating-related characteristics.

METHODS:

The current and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses of 120 consecutive bariatric patients undergoing pre-surgical psychiatric consultation were assessed using a modified version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-CV), and information relating to parental death or separation before the age of 17 years was collected using a semi-structured interview. The rate of childhood parental loss was compared with that of an always slender population sharing the same psychiatric diagnosis.

RESULTS:

91.7% of the obese subjects were diagnosed as having a bipolar spectrum disorder. Overall, 28% of the patients reported a childhood parental death or separation. Early parental loss was not equally distributed in the different diagnostic subgroups, being more frequent in those with bipolar II disorders; the always slender subjects with bipolar II disorders showed a lower rate of early parental loss.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study findings confirm the association between obesity and bipolar disorders and suggest that early parental loss may play a role in the development of obesity in bipolar II subjects.

PMID:
21675347
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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