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BMC Public Health. 2018 Jul 1;18(1):779. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5702-4.

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

Author information

1
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. cillian.mcdowell@ul.ie.
2
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
3
Centre for Exercise Medicine, Physical Activity and Health, School of Sport, Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
4
Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.
5
National Suicide Research Foundation, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
6
School of Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
7
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
8
Department of Social and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
9
Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
10
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science & Technology, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK.
11
Amsterdam School for Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
12
Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Cross-sectional; Elderly; Ireland; Mental health; Physical activity

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