Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the association between obesity and depressive symptoms in Japan. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1128 community-dwelling elderly Japanese aged 70 years or older in 2002. We calculated the body mass index [BMI=weight (kg)/height (m)2] from measured weight and height and evaluated depressive symptoms using the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS 30), with a cut-off point of 11. Results: In men, no apparent association was observed between BMI and depressive symptoms. An inverse linear trend was observed in women overall, but stratified analysis of chronic medical conditions, such as stroke or cancer, showed an inverse association was evident only among women with the conditions. Among women without these chronic conditions, no apparent association was evident. Conclusion: No apparent association was observed in men overall or in apparently healthy women. An inverse trend was observed only in women with chronic medical conditions.
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