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Econ Hum Biol. 2014 Jan;12:153-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Personality disorders and body weight.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 1316 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: macleanc@upenn.edu.
2
Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: HXu@mednet.ucla.edu.
3
Health Economics Research Group, Department of Sociology, University of Miami, USA; Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami, USA. Electronic address: mfrench@miami.edu.
4
Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, USA; Department of Health Policy and Management, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: settner@mednet.ucla.edu.

Abstract

We examine the impact of Axis II personality disorders (PDs) on body weight. PDs are psychiatric conditions that develop early in life from a mixture of genetics and environment, are persistent, and lead to substantial dysfunction for the affected individual. The defining characteristics of PDs conceptually link them with body weight, but the direction of the relationship likely varies across PD type. To investigate these links, we analyze data from Wave II of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. We measure body weight with the body mass index (BMI) and a dichotomous indicator for obesity (BMI≥30). We find that women with PDs have significantly higher BMI and are more likely to be obese than otherwise similar women. We find few statistically significant or economically meaningful effects for men. Paranoid, schizotypal, and avoidant PDs demonstrate the strongest adverse impacts on women's body weight while dependent PD may be protective against elevated body weight among men. Findings from unconditional quantile regressions demonstrate a positive gradient between PDs and BMI in that the effects are greater for higher BMI respondents.

KEYWORDS:

Body mass index (BMI); Obesity; Personality disorders; Quantile regression

PMID:
24268441
DOI:
10.1016/j.ehb.2013.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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