CitationSuglia, Shakira F.; Pamplin, John R.; Forde, Allana T.; & Shelton, Rachel C. (2017). Sex differences in the association between perceived stress and adiposity in a nationally representative sample. Annals of Epidemiology. vol. 27 (10) pp. 626-631
AbstractPrior studies examining the association between perceived stress and adiposity have reported mixed findings, and sex differences have largely not been examined. We examined the relationship between perceived stress and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in young adults in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Participants (mean age 29 years; N = 14,044) completed the short form of Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale during a home visit. Height, weight, and waist circumference were assessed during the same visit. BMI was calculated based on measured height and weight. In the sample, 52% were male and 65% were identified as white. In adjusted linear regression analyses, a sex by Perceived Stress Scale interaction was noted (P < .05) for both BMI and waist circumference. Perceived stress was statistically significantly associated with lower BMI (β: −0.09; standard error [SE]: 0.05) and was associated with lower waist circumference, although not statistically significant (β: −0.18; SE: 0.10) among men. No associations were noted among women. In this nationally representative sample of young adults, perceived stress was associated with lower levels of adiposity among men. Noted differences could be attributed to different behavioral and coping strategies in response to stress between men and women as well as biological mechanisms which should be explored further.
Keyword(s)Stress Sex differences Obesity
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAnnals of Epidemiology
Author(s)Suglia, Shakira F.
Pamplin, John R.
Forde, Allana T.
Shelton, Rachel C.