Objective: To determine associations between changes in obesity and vigorous physical activity (PA) status and depressive symptoms in a cohort aged 51 to 61 years at baseline.
Method: Two waves (1992, 1998) of Health and Retirement Study data were used to divide participants into four obesity and four vigorous PA status categories based on change in or maintenance of their 1992 status in 1998. Depressive symptoms were defined as the upper quintile score (women >/= 4, men >/= 3) on the eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. Logistic regression determined adjusted odds ratios for depressive symptoms associated with obesity and vigorous PA status.
Results: Among men, no significant associations were found. Among women, decreasing from high vigorous PA status and maintenance of obese status were independently associated with increased odds for depressive symptoms in 1998.
Discussion: The findings illustrate the importance of examining gender differences in studies of risk factors for depression.