Heavy preschoolers more likely to use mental health services by age 19 years

  • Carsley S & al.
  • Int J Obes (Lond)
  • 13 Dec 2018

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Preschool-age girls who are obese are nearly 3-fold more likely to use mental health services before age 19 years than girls who were a healthy weight.
  • Preschool-age boys who were overweight or at risk for becoming overweight were also more likely to seek mental health services than healthy-weight boys, although their usage was not as high as obese girls.

Why this matters

  • Mental health status should be included in clinicians’ routine check-ups for preschool children who are obese.

Study design

  • 10,522 children age 2 to
  • Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research; others.

Key results

  • The average time of follow-up in this cohort was 3.2 years (median, 2.2 years).
  • Incidence rates for mental health service use:
    • Overall: 44.5 events/1000 person-years.
    • Girls: 34.0 cases/1000 person-years.
    • Boys: 56 cases/1000 person-years.
  • Compared with those with healthy weight, risks for mental health service use were:
    • Girls with obesity: HR, 2.73 (P<.001>
    • Boys who were overweight: HR, 1.22 (P=.02).
    • Boys at risk of being overweight: HR, 1.43 (P=.01).

Limitations

  • Retrospective study.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm

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