Generalized Anxiety Disorder Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in the Vietnam Experience Study



Carroll D, Phillips AC, Thomas GN, Gale CR, Deary I & Batty GD (2009) Generalized Anxiety Disorder Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in the Vietnam Experience Study. Biological Psychiatry, 66 (1), pp. 91-93.

Background Few studies have explored the relationship between major mental health disorders and metabolic syndrome (MetS), although both have been linked to cardiovascular disease. The present study examined the cross-sectional associations of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) with MetS in a large study of male US veterans. Methods The analyses were cross-sectional. Participants (n = 4256) were drawn from the Vietnam Experience Study. From military service files, telephone interviews, and a medical examination, occupational, socio-demographic, and health data were collected. One-year prevalence of MDD and GAD was determined with DSM-III criteria. Metabolic syndrome was ascertained from data on: body mass index, fasting blood glucose or a diagnosis of diabetes, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Results In models that adjusted for age (p = .01) and additionally for place of service, ethnicity, marital status, smoking, alcohol consumption, IQ at enlistment, household income in midlife, and education grade achieved (p = .02), GAD was positively associated with MetS. Major depressive disorder was not related to MetS. Conclusions Depression has very much been the focal condition for studies on mental health and physical health outcomes. The current data suggest that future research should perhaps pay equal attention to GAD.

Generalized anxiety disorder; major depressive disorder; metabolic syndrome; veterans

Biological Psychiatry: Volume 66, Issue 1

FundersUniversity of Birmingham
Publication date01/07/2009
Publication date online02/04/2009
Date accepted by journal13/02/2009
PublisherElsevier BV

People (1)


Professor Anna Whittaker

Professor Anna Whittaker

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Sport