Depression, prescription of antidepressant drugs and changes in body weight: A cohort study using electronic health records

Date of Approval
Application Number
Technical Summary

Current research evidence on weight change alongside the use of antidepressants is limited by small sample sizes and short term reporting. Existing evidence suggests that antidepressant drugs can be associated with changes in body weight. The association between antidepressant use and weight change is complicated by the bidirectional relationship between depression and obesity. The present study will use the electronic health records of adults with at least three weight measurements to assess both short- and long-term body weight changes in patients who have been prescribed antidepressant drugs acutely and long-term. We will also investigate body weight changes after cessation of antidepressant use. Patients will be divided by their depression status using diagnostic medical codes and prescriptions of antidepressant drugs. In the face of a great need for care relating to both depression and obesity the results of this study will provide valuable information for health service planning and providers.


Martin Gulliford - Chief Investigator - King's College London (KCL)
Martin Gulliford - Corresponding Applicant - King's College London (KCL)
Helen Booth - Collaborator - CPRD
Judith Charlton - Collaborator - King's College London (KCL)


Patient Level Index of Multiple Deprivation;Practice Level Index of Multiple Deprivation