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Aging Ment Health. 2007 Sep;11(5):547-55.

Association between lifestyle activity and depressed mood among home-dwelling older people: a community-based study in Japan.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, Social Medicine Cluster, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. arai_asuna@yahoo.co.up


In the community-based cross-sectional study, we investigated patterns of lifestyle activities among older people and examined the association between specific types of lifestyle activity and depressed mood status. The participants were 656 men and women aged 65 or older in 2004 who lived in a rural town in Japan, neither institutionalized nor hospitalized and who did not have symptoms of dementia. We found that less interaction with neighbors, society and friends was highly associated with depressed mood for men. Additionally, although they were physically active in gardening/farming, it did not necessarily mean that they were mentally healthy if they did not have close ties with friends, family and children/grandchildren. For women, it seemed important to engage in several types of activities relating to society, leisure and children/grandchildren to be in less depressed mood. Even if they were socially inactive, if they had frequent contact with family and children/grandchildren or going out for pleasure they were less likely to be depressed. Distinguishing gender differences in lifestyle activity patterns and the association of activities with depressed mood will help to guide the development of depression intervention programs.

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