Associative study on adhd, anxiety, depression, stress, and excess body weight in adolescents

Lidiane R. Alli-Feldmann., Ricardo Halpern., Ricardo R. Rech., Vanessa G. Winckler and Juliana C. Galvan

Objective: This study aimed to verify the relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), excess body weight, and other mental disorders, such as anxiety, stress, and depression. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to assess 271 adolescents (105 girls and 166 boys) with a mean age of14.5 years (SD = 2.35). Data collection for ADHD, anxiety, depression, and stress prevalence was performed through a Brazilian Portuguese validated version of the Child Behavior Checklist (Inventário de Comportamentos da Infância e Adolescência). Body mass index was calculated based on body weight and height. Values above 85% were classified as excess body weight. In order to verify the relationship among the mental disorders, we used Person’s chi-square test due to the abnormal distribution of the sample. We applied the same method to verify the relationship between excess body weight and the above-mentioned disorders. Results: We observed a positive relationship between ADHD and the other disorders, with a p-value greater than 0.05, showing a high probability of association between ADHD and stress, anxiety, and depression. The results also revealed an association between being overweight and depression (residual variation = -2.2, p = 0.025), indicating that overweight adolescents were twice as likely to have depression (PR = 2.53). In relation to stress and anxiety, the values found were not statistically significant (p = 0.249 and p = 0.447, respectively). Conclusions: We concluded that ADHD increases the probability of anxiety disorders, depression, and stress, and that obesity increases the probability of a depressive condition.

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