HealthDay News — The atypical subtype of major depressive disorder (MDD) strongly predicts obesity, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Aurélie M. Lasserre, MD, from the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a prospective population-based cohort study involving 3,054 randomly selected residents of the city of Lausanne (mean age, 49.7 years; 53.1% women).

Participants underwent physical and psychiatric baseline and physical follow-up evaluations. The semistructured Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies was used to elicit diagnostic criteria at baseline and follow-up, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, and medication.

Continue Reading

The researchers found that during follow-up, only participants with the atypical subtype of MDD at baseline had a higher increase in adiposity than participants without MDD.

After adjustments for a wide range of possible cofounders, significant associations persisted between the atypical subtype of MDD and body mass index (β = 3.19), incidence of obesity (odds ratio, 3.75), waist circumference in both sexes (β = 2.44), and fat mass in men (β = 16.36).

“This emphasizes the need to identify individuals with this subtype of MDD in both clinical and research settings,” the researchers wrote. “Therapeutic measures to diminish the consequences of increased appetite during depressive episodes with atypical features are advocated.”

Several authors report financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Lasserre AM et al. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.411.