Anxiety, Inflammation, and Obesity

July 25, 2017
by Pharm Tao

Stress, Chronic Diseases, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Stress, Depression, Inflammation, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Anxiety and depression have been related to the higher levels of inflammation among those with obesity. This group of people may also have the higher risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Pierce et al., 2016).

In a recent study, the associations between anxiety (and depression) with the inflammatory biomarker serum C-reactive protein (CRP) were examined among 100 obese subjects with the mean age of 57.8 years (Pierce et al., 2016). The study found that the levels of anxiety but not depression were related to the biomarker CRP significantly.

The study indicates that anxiety but not depression may be closely associated with inflammation among those with obesity (Pierce et al., 2016). This is an interesting observation as depression has often been related to inflammation in other studies.

More studies in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) may help reveal the correlations among anxiety, depression, inflammation, obesity, and cardiovascular disease risks. The emotional disorders such as anxiety may also become the possible targets for the prevention and treatment of CVD and obesity-associated disorders.


Pierce GL, Kalil GZ, Ajibewa T, Holwerda SW, Persons J, Moser DJ, Fiedorowicz JG. Anxiety independently contributes to elevated inflammation in humans with obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Feb;25(2):286-289. doi: 10.1002/oby.21698.

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