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J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Jan;26(1):108-15. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.1.108. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Relationships of mental disorders and weight status in the Korean adult population.

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Department of Psychiatry, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between weight status and mental disorders, including depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder. A total of nationally representative 6,510 subjects aged 18-64 yr was interviewed in face-to-face household survey. Response rate was 81.7%. Mental disorders were diagnosed using the Korean version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (K-CIDI). The subjects reported their heights and weights. After adjusting for age and gender, the lifetime diagnosis of depressive disorder had a significant association with only the underweight group (odds ratio [OR], 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-2.38). The association between underweight and depressive disorder was the strongest for subjects with a high education level (OR, 1.75, 95% CI, 1.2-2.56), subjects with a married/cohabiting status (OR, 1.94, 95% CI, 1.17-3.22) and smokers (OR, 2.58, 95% CI, 1.33-4.98). There was no significant association between obesity and depressive disorder in Korea. But there was a significant association between the underweight group and depressive disorder. The relationship between obesity and mental disorder in a Korean population was different from that in a Western population. These results suggest that the differences of traditional cultures and races might have an important effect on the associations between the weight status and mental disorders.


Body Mass Index; Mental Disorders; Obesity; Under Weight; Weight Status

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