Associations between lifestyle and depressed mood: longitudinal results from the Maastricht Aging Study

Am J Public Health. 2007 May;97(5):887-94. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.053199. Epub 2006 May 30.


Objectives: We examined whether healthy lifestyles are associated with absence of depressed mood.

Methods: A sample of 1169 adult participants in the Maastricht Aging Study provided baseline and 6-year follow-up data on smoking, alcohol use, physical exercise, body mass index, and mood. We examined associations between lifestyles and depressed mood using longitudinal analyses controlling for baseline depressive symptoms and covariates.

Results: Reports of excessive alcohol use at baseline predicted depressed mood at follow-up (relative risk [RR] = 2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08, 5.69), and reports of more than 30 minutes of physical exercise per day at baseline were associated with an absence of depressed mood at follow-up (RR=0.52; 95% CI=0.29, 0.92). Reports of being engaged in physical exercise throughout the 6-year follow-up period were also associated with absence of depressed mood (RR=0.56; 95% CI=0.34, 0.93).

Conclusions: In this relatively healthy population sample, certain lifestyles either predicted or protected against depressed mood. Adopting or maintaining healthy lifestyles might be a starting point in preventing or treating depressed mood over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Mass Index
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking