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J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 1;225:438-448. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.070. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Physical activity and suicidal ideation: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
KU Leuven - University of Leuven, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Leuven, Belgium; KU Leuven - University of Leuven, University Psychiatric Centre, Leuven-Kortenberg, Belgium. Electronic address: davy.vancampfort@kuleuven.be.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health, University of Manchester, UK; NICM, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Australia.
4
School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney, Australia; Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
5
Unilasalle, Canoas, Brazil; Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Dança, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
6
Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda; Butabika National Referral and Mental Health Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
7
KU Leuven - University of Leuven, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
8
Department of Clinical Medicine and Translational Psychiatry Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.
9
Physiotherapy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, UK; Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A potential approach to suicide prevention that has not been closely examined, but which holds promise in terms of widespread dissemination without major side-effects, is physical activity (PA). This systematic review and meta-analysis set out to: (a) explore associations between PA and suicidal ideation (SI) levels, and (b) investigate the effect of PA interventions on SI.

METHODS:

Major electronic databases were searched from inception up to 05/2017 to identify quantitative studies reporting an association between PA and SI. A quantitative correlates synthesis and random effects meta-analysis were conducted.

RESULTS:

Fourteen of 21 studies in adults (67%) (n = 130,737), 7/14 (50%) in adolescents (n = 539,170) and 2/3 (67%) in older adults (n = 50,745) found a significant negative association between PA- and SI-levels. Pooled adjusted meta-analysis of 14 effect sizes over eight studies and 80,856 people found that those who were "active" versus those who were "inactive" were less likely to have SI (OR = 0.87, 95%CI = 0.76-0.98). Additionally, meeting PA guidelines conferred a significant protective effect against SI (OR = 0.91, 95%CI = 0.51-0.99, P = 0.03; N studies = 3, n people = 122,395), while not meeting guidelines was associated with increased SI (OR = 1.16, 95%CI = 1.09-1.24, P < 0.001; N = 4, n = 78,860). Data from the intervention studies (N = 3, n = 121) was mixed and limited.

LIMITATIONS:

Our findings are based mainly on cross-sectional studies, while the majority of studies did not include a rigorous physical activity assessment.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current study suggests that higher PA levels are associated with lower SI. However, the associations observed need to be confirmed in prospective observational studies and controlled trials.

KEYWORDS:

Mortality; Physical exercise; Suicide

PMID:
28858658
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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