Depressive symptoms as a risk factor for the common cold among employees: a 4-month follow-up study

J Psychosom Res. 2011 Sep;71(3):194-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between symptoms of depression in workers and the common cold.

Methods: A follow-up survey of workers at 44 small- to medium-sized companies was conducted; 1350 questionnaires were used in the final analysis. The first survey requested information regarding personal information, work characteristics and symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale); the second survey queried participants who answered the first survey about manifestations of the common cold during the previous four months. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using a logistic regression model, which was adjusted for potential confounders. All analyses were stratified according to gender separately.

Results: The ORs for reporting symptoms of the common cold were 1.36 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01-1.83) and 2.27 (95% CI: 1.49-3.45) in males and females, respectively. When adjusted for age, marital status, educational level, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, exercise, sleep duration and job type, the ORs remained significant for both genders (male: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.01-1.89; female: 2.08; 95% CI: 1.32-3.23).

Conclusions: The risk of self-reported manifestations of the common cold was higher in workers who reported symptoms of depression.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Common Cold / epidemiology
  • Common Cold / psychology*
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult