(Reuters Health) - A new study links depression to an accumulation of visceral fat -- deep hidden fat deposits around the abdominal organs -- which confers a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than the more obvious subcutaneous fat that collects just under the skin.
Depression is known to increase the risk of heart disease, but just how they are connected has been unclear.
"Our results suggest that
central adiposity, which is commonly called belly fat, is an important pathway
by which depression contributes to the risk for cardiovascular disease and
diabetes," principal investigator Dr. Lynda H. Powell of
For a while now, scientists have been building up evidence that depression and depressive symptoms can lead to heart disease and obesity. A new study, published in the most recent issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, finds that the link may create visceral fat, a type of abdominal fat that builds up around abdominal organs and isn’t visible to the eye.
“There is something physiological related to depressive symptoms that contributes to the accumulation of fat,” says study author Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Her study wasn’t able to pinpoint the reason why depression leads to higher percentages of visceral fat, but “it’s worth knowing that [depression] is not just a mood disorder and that it can increase that risk [of fat gain].” (Read entire article)