A cohort study of leisure time physical activity and depression

Prev Med. 2010 Dec;51(6):471-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.09.008. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

Abstract

Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the role of leisure time physical activity on the risk of developing depression in a large longitudinal setting.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was used, comprising three updated measures of leisure time physical activity and covariates and 26 years of follow-up data on 18,146 individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, Denmark. The study population was linked to two Danish hospital registers for information on depression. Data were collected in three rounds, namely, 1976-1978, 1981-1983, and 1991-1994, and analyses were conducted in 2010.

Results: Compared to women with a high physical activity level, women with a moderate level had a hazard ratio of 1.07 (95% confidence interval: 0.80-1.44) for developing depression while women with a low level had a hazard ratio of 1.80 (95% confidence interval: 1.29-2.51). Compared to men with a high physical activity level, men with a moderate level had a hazard ratio of 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 0.73-1.68) for developing depression, while men with a low level had a hazard ratio of 1.39 (95% confidence interval: 0.83-2.34).

Conclusion: Among women, a low level of physical activity was significantly associated with a greater risk of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors