Depression is a common mental disorder. Several studies suggest that lifestyle and health status are associated with depression. However, only a few large-scale longitudinal studies have been conducted on this topic.
The subjects were middle-aged and elderly Japanese adults between the ages of 40 and 69 years. A total of 9,650 respondents completed questionnaires for the baseline survey and participated in the second wave of the survey, which was conducted 7 years later. We excluded those who complained of depressive symptoms in the baseline survey and analyzed data for the remaining 9,201 individuals. In the second-wave survey, the DSM-12D was used to determine depression. We examined the risks associated with health status and lifestyle factors in the baseline survey using a logistic regression model.
An age-adjusted analysis showed an increased risk of depression in those who had poor perceived health and chronic diseases in both sexes. In men, those who were physically inactive also had an increased risk of depression. In women, the analysis also showed an increased risk of depression those with a BMI of 25 or more, in those sleeping 9 hours a day or more and who were current smokers. A multivariate analysis showed that increased risks of depression still existed in men who had chronic diseases and who were physically inactive, and in women who had poor perceived health and who had a BMI of 25 or more.
These results suggest that lifestyle and health status are risk factors for depression. Having a chronic disease and physical inactivity were distinctive risk factors for depression in men. On the other hand, poor perceived health and a BMI of 25 or more were distinctive risk factors for depression in women. Preventive measures for depression must therefore take gender into account.