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Mental Health and Obesity Among Veterans: A Possible Need for Integrated Care.

Breland JY, Frayne SM, Timko C, Washington DL, Maguen S. Mental Health and Obesity Among Veterans: A Possible Need for Integrated Care. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2020 May 1; 71(5):506-509.

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OBJECTIVE: The goal was to examine psychiatric diagnosis rates among a national cohort of primary care patients with and without obesity. METHODS: The cohort was derived from national Veterans Health Administration data (women, N = 342,262; men, N = 4,524,787). Sex-stratified descriptive statistics characterized psychiatric diagnosis rates. Chi-square tests determined whether diagnosis rates differed by obesity status (a = 0.001). RESULTS: Rates of any psychiatric diagnosis were higher among women than among men and among people with obesity versus without obesity (women, 53.9% vs. 50.4%; men, 37.9% vs. 35.2%). Depression and posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis rates were higher for people with obesity, and substance use disorder diagnosis rates were lower for people with obesity. Anxiety diagnosis rates were slightly lower among women with obesity versus women without obesity. CONCLUSIONS: Programs simultaneously addressing weight management and mental health could address the psychiatric comorbidities observed among people with obesity. Women are most likely to need these services.

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