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Age Ageing. 2003 Jan;32(1):81-7.

Relationship between changes in depressive symptoms and unhealthy lifestyles in late middle aged and older persons: results from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.

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Department of Health Care Studies, Section Medical Sociology, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



depressed mood is common in late life, more prevalent among the chronically diseased than in the general population, and has various health-related consequences. So far, the association between depression and unhealthy lifestyles among chronically diseased has not been examined longitudinally in older persons.


to determine if depressed mood is associated with unhealthy lifestyles in late middle aged and older people, with or without chronic somatic diseases.


in a sample of 1,280 community-dwelling people from the Netherlands, the associations between depressive symptoms and lifestyle domains were analysed cross-sectionally and longitudinally - using logistic regression analyses and multivariate analyses of variance.


after controlling for confounders, depressed people (n=176 at baseline) were more likely to be smokers (odds ratio 1.71; 95% confidence interval 1.17-2.52). A persistent depression was associated with an increase in cigarette consumption (P=0.036). Having an emerging depression (n=155) was most likely to co-occur with a person's change from being physically active to being sedentary (relative risk-ratio 1.62; 95% confidence interval 1.05-2.52), and was associated with the largest decrease in minutes of physical activity (P=0.038). This effect was not modified or confounded by chronic somatic disease. A persistent depression tended to be associated with incident excessive alcohol use (relative risk-ratio 4.04; 95% confidence interval 0.97-16.09; P=0.056).


depression is associated with smoking behaviour, and with an increase in cigarette consumption. An emerging depression is associated with becoming sedentary, irrespective of a person's disease status at baseline, and is associated with decrease in minutes of physical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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