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Prev Med. 2009 Mar;48(3):250-5.

Physical activity and depressive symptoms in Taiwanese older adults: a seven-year follow-up study.

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  • 1Graduate Institute of Sports and Health, National Changhua University of Education, No.1, Jinde Rd., Changhua City, 500, Taiwan.



The associations of leisure-time physical activity with incident depressive symptoms in a 7-year population-based sample of Taiwanese older people were studied.


The analyses were based on nationally representative data from the Taiwan's Health and Living Status of the Elderly Survey in 1996, 1999 and 2003. Data from the fixed cohort of 3778 participants aged 50 and older at baseline in 1996 with 7 years of follow-up were analyzed. Incident cases (CES-D-10 score > or =10) in 2003 totaled 420. Participants engaging in at least three activity sessions per week were classified as being physically active. Based on physical activity status in 1996 and 1999, four categories of activity status were created (low/low, low/high, high/low and high/high). Multivariate logistic regression models for predicting incident cases were undertaken both including and excluding participants with physical limitation at baseline and depressive symptoms in 1999. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to examine the effect of missing values.


Participants who were low in leisure-time activity at both time points were at greatest risk of developing depressive symptoms (adjusted odd ratio=1.43, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-1.95) in 2003.


Leisure-time physical activity is associated with reduced risk of significant depressive symptoms in older Taiwanese adults.

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