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J Trauma Stress. 2010 Dec;23(6):785-63. doi: 10.1002/jts.20584. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

Childhood traumatic stress and obesity in women: the intervening effects of PTSD and MDD.

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Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


In this study, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) were modeled as intervening variables in the relationship between childhood traumatic stress and weight outcomes in civilian women in the United States. Of the 148 participants, 72 had current PTSD, 64 had current MDD, and 32 had neither disorder. In separate single indirect effect models, there were significant indirect effects of both PTSD and depressive symptoms on body mass index and waist-hip ratio. When models included both PTSD and depressive symptoms, an indirect effect of PTSD symptoms was evident in the relationship between childhood traumatic stress and waist-hip ratio. Posttraumatic stress disorder may play a particularly important role in the development of central adiposity.

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