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Br J Psychiatry. 2019 May 6:1-8. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2019.100. [Epub ahead of print]

Neighbourhood characteristics and prevalence and severity of depression: pooled analysis of eight Dutch cohort studies.

Author information

1
Postdoctoral Researcher,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Psychiatry,Amsterdam Public Health; andGGZ inGeest Specialized Mental Health Care, Research and Innovation, the Netherlands.
2
Postdoctoral Researcher,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
3
Postdoctoral Researcher,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Section Ear & Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
4
Data Manager,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Section Ear & Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
5
Assistant Professor,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
6
Assistant Professor,Department of Clinical Child and Family Studies,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
7
Scientific Director,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health; and Department of Sociology,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
8
Professor,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Section Ear & Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
9
GP/Senior Researcher,Department of General Practice and Elderly Care,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
10
Senior Researcher,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
11
Associate Professor,Spatial Information Laboratory, Department of Spatial Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
12
Senior Researcher,Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction,the Netherlands.
13
Senior Researcher,Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam,Department of Public Health,Amsterdam Public Health; andAmsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam,Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics,Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
14
Professor,Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam,Department of Public Health,Amsterdam Public Health,the Netherlands.
15
Associate Professor,Department of Biological Psychology,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
16
Professor,Department of Biological Psychology,Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,the Netherlands.
17
Professor,Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,Department of Psychiatry,Amsterdam Public Health; andGGZ inGeest Specialized Mental Health Care, Research and Innovation, the Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies on neighbourhood characteristics and depression show equivocal results.AimsThis large-scale pooled analysis examines whether urbanisation, socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with the prevalence and severity of depression.

METHOD:

Cross-sectional design including data are from eight Dutch cohort studies (n = 32 487). Prevalence of depression, either DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive disorder or scoring for moderately severe depression on symptom scales, and continuous depression severity scores were analysed. Neighbourhood characteristics were linked using postal codes and included (a) urbanisation grade, (b) socioeconomic characteristics: socioeconomic status, home value, social security beneficiaries and non-Dutch ancestry, (c) physical characteristics: air pollution, traffic noise and availability of green space and water, and (d) social characteristics: social cohesion and safety. Multilevel regression analyses were adjusted for the individual's age, gender, educational level and income. Cohort-specific estimates were pooled using random-effects analysis.

RESULTS:

The pooled analysis showed that higher urbanisation grade (odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.10), lower socioeconomic status (OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.87-0.95), higher number of social security beneficiaries (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.06-1.19), higher percentage of non-Dutch residents (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 1.02-1.14), higher levels of air pollution (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.12), less green space (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.88-0.99) and less social safety (OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.88-0.97) were associated with higher prevalence of depression. All four socioeconomic neighbourhood characteristics and social safety were also consistently associated with continuous depression severity scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

This large-scale pooled analysis across eight Dutch cohort studies shows that urbanisation and various socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with depression, indicating that a wide range of environmental aspects may relate to poor mental health.Declaration of interestNone.

KEYWORDS:

Mental health; cohort studies; environment; geographic information systems; neighbourhood

PMID:
31057126
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.2019.100

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