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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Psychiatric disorders of patients seeking obesity treatment

Hung-Yen Lin, Chih-Kun Huang, Chi-Ming Tai, Hung-Yu Lin, Yu-Hsi Kao, Ching-Chung Tsai, Chin-Feng Hsuan, Su-Long Lee, Shu-Ching Chi and Yung-Chieh Yen*

BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:1  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-1

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Psychiatric disorders of patients seeking obesity treatment - an earlier Asian study findings

Maniam Thambu   (2013-11-14 15:19)  Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia) Kuala Lumpur email

I read the interesting and informative paper by Lin H.Y. et al [doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-1] on the rate of psychiatric disorders among patients seeking treatment for obesity in Taiwan. The authors state that, to their knowledge, there has been no similar Asian study. I would like to draw the authors' attention to an earlier Malaysian study that we conducted on patients who sought treatment in a dietitian clinic for their obesity (Loo et al Psychiatric Morbidity, Personality Profile and Saliva Cortisol Levels in Overweight and Obese Patients Referred to Dietician Clinics in UKMMC. Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry 2011; 20: 4-15 [http://www.mjpsychiatry.org/index.php/mjp/article/viewFile/146/121]. Readers may note the similarities in terms of the setting (a university teaching hospital) and the diagnostic instrument (SCID) that was used in both studies.
However, our findings were somewhat different. We found a rate of psychiatric illness of 15.7% (less than half that in the Taiwan study) and depression was not the most common psychiatric disorder. About a third had psychological distress as measured by the GHQ-30. We found that the mean body mass index was significantly higher in those with a psychiatric disorder, but there were no significant associations between presence of psychiatric illness and personality profile or saliva cortisol levels. It is possible our smaller study sample failed to find these associations.

Competing interests

I was one of the authors of the Loo et al paper quoted here.

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