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Are Anxiety & Waist Size Linked?

Stress and genetics are common risk factors when it comes to anxiety; however, what about waist size? A new Latin American study recently revealed that waist size just might be a factor when it comes to anxiety.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is a top and common mental health condition when it comes to U.S. adults. In fact, women have double the chances of being diagnosed, where they are likelier to overeat, thanks to stress.

As such, Medical News Today reports that this new research zeros in on postmenopausal females, that reveals a risk of anxiety as women age thanks to her waistline and waist-to-height ratio.

Dr. Karen Arroyo, lead author, and her team gathered over 5,500 females who averaged in and around 49 years of age. Of this group, 58% of the women were postmenopausal, with just over 61% stating they had anxiety.

As per the study team, this is the first research of it kind to dive into a waist-to-height ratio, as it relates to uncovering a connection with anxiety. Previously, this ration has been focused on to find a link for cardiometabolic risk, which interestingly enough, has been connected to mood conditions, such as anxiety.

This ration was found by dividing waist measurements against height; where a woman can be labeled obese if her waist measurements are higher than that of her height numbers.
In this research, the team placed the women into three groups: upper tertile, middle, and lower – basing these groups around their waist-to-height ratios.

To start, the researchers discovered the females in the upper and middle quartiles had a tremendously increased risk of anxiety, versus those within the lower tertile group. Still, after some adjustments due to relevant factors, it was found that only those women in the upper tertile where likelier to show tell-tale anxiety symptoms.

Therefore, the bigger the female’s waistline, the likelier it was she has anxiety.

Past studies have proven that postmenopausal females are likelier to have anxiety due to their quality of life, while other studies have indicated it just might be an overlap when it comes to menopause’s psychological effects (e.g. hot flashes) and anxiety symptoms. Hormone changes might also have a big role to play with both a woman’s waistline and the increased anxiety she may be feeling later in life.

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