Associations of self-reported physical activity and depression in 10,000 Irish adults across harmonised datasets: a DEDIPAC-study

Cillian P Mc Dowell, Angela Carlin, Laura Capranica, Christina Dillon, Janas M Harrington, Jeroen Lakerveld, Anne Loyen, Fiona Chun Man Ling, Johannes Brug, Ciaran MacDonncha, Matthew P Herring

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BACKGROUND: Depression is a prevalent, debilitating, and often recurrent mood disorder for which successful first-line treatments remains limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional associations between self-reported physical activity (PA) and depressive symptoms and status among Irish adults, using two existing datasets, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and The Mitchelstown Cohort Study.

METHODS: The two selected databases were pooled (n = 10,122), and relevant variables were harmonized. PA was measured using the short form International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) questionnaire. Participants were classified as meeting World Health Organization moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) guidelines or not, and divided into tertiles based on weekly minutes of MVPA. A CES-D score of ≥16 indicated elevated depressive symptoms. Data collection were conducted in 2010-2011.

RESULTS: Significantly higher depressive symptoms were reported by females (7.11 ± 7.87) than males (5.74 ± 6.86; p < 0.001). Following adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and dataset, meeting the PA guidelines was associated with 44.7% (95%CI: 35.0 to 52.9; p < 0.001) lower odds of elevated depressive symptoms. Compared to the low PA tertile, the middle and high PA tertiles were associated with 25.2% (95%CI: 8.7 to 38.6; p < 0.01) and 50.8% (95%CI: 40.7 to 59.2; p < 0.001) lower odds of elevated depressive symptoms, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Meeting the PA guidelines is associated with lower odds of elevated depressive symptoms, and increased volumes of MVPA are associated with lower odds of elevated depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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