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In a study of patients with an average body mass index (BMI) of 47 who were enrolled with a specialist weight management service, almost three quarters of them (74.8%) were poor sleepers, with above half (52%) showing signs of anxiety and 43 per cent of patients were depressed.
The study authors showed that sleep quality and daytime sleepiness were significantly associated with and impact on mood and quality of life amongst obese patients.
The authors recommend that obese people are screened for sleep problems such as disturbed sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness as improving sleep quality could potentially prevent obesity from worsening and stop people from developing psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Dr Neil Thomas, reader in epidemiology at the School of Health and Population Sciences at the University of Birmingham, was one of the authors of the research.
He said: "Despite the very high levels of problems in these patients, those involved with their care usually do not ask about sleep problems and often pay little heed to the psychological issues underlying the obesity. The focus is often on treating the obesity and its consequences, such as diet and exercise interventions, rather than addressing its underlying cause, which may be psychological in nature, such as an unhappy marriage, job stresses etc.
"This may also in part contribute to the difficulty in maintaining weight loss if the drivers of the increasing body fat are not removed it is unlikely that long term weight loss will be successful."
The study involved 270 patients with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 47.0 kg/m2 who were consecutively enrolled in a regional specialist weight management service. They had a mean age of 43 years. Sleep disturbance, daytime sleepiness, mood and quality of life were assessed using standardised questionnaires.
The study results appear in the December issue of the journal Sleep.
The Complex Associations Among Sleep Quality, Anxiety-Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients with Extreme Obesity, Marzieh Hosseini Araghi, BSc, MPH; Alison Jagielski, BSc, MSc; Iraida Neira, BSc, MSc; Adrian Brown, BSc, MSc; Suzanne Higgs, MA, PhD; G. Neil Thomas, PhD; Shahrad Taheri, MB BS, PhD, FRCP, SLEEP 2013 - doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3216
University of Birmingham
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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University of Birmingham. "Study links sleep to mood disturbance and poor quality of life in obese." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 17 Dec. 2013. Web.
17 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270259>
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