The Relationship between Childhood Parental Loss and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Subjects
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stress and Health
Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 5–13, February 2013
How to Cite
Alciati, A., Gesuele, F., Casazza, G. and Foschi, D. (2013), The Relationship between Childhood Parental Loss and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Subjects. Stress and Health, 29: 5–13. doi: 10.1002/smi.1435
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 11 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Received: 30 JAN 2011
- metabolic syndrome;
- psychological stress;
- body mass index;
- psychiatric diagnosis
The increasing global trend of obesity is a fundamental contributor to the growing prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of medical abnormalities including impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, obesity and hypertension. Results from animal and human investigations have shown that early life stress can result in weight gain and metabolic changes.
Our aim is to investigate whether a particular type of an early adverse event, i.e. parental loss during childhood, is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome in severely obese subjects.
One hundred thirty-five consecutive obese patients who were seeking bariatric surgery were assessed for metabolic syndrome according to the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III criteria. Information regarding the experience of parental separation or bereavement before the age of 17 was collected with the use of a semi-structured interview.
In our population, 31.1% of the subjects met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. No significant differences in demographic factors, health habits or psychiatric diagnosis were found between patients with and without coexisting metabolic syndrome. After adjusting for age and gender, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that both childhood loss of a parent and a body mass index (BMI) value greater than 50 were significant predictors of metabolic syndrome.
This study provides preliminary evidence linking childhood parental loss to risk factors for the development of metabolic syndrome. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.