Interrelationships among physical activity, depression, homocysteine, and metabolic syndrome with special considerations by sex

Prev Med. 2012 Jun;54(6):388-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.03.016. Epub 2012 Mar 31.


Objective: Examine the interrelationships among physical activity, depression, homocysteine and metabolic syndrome, and to examine the association between physical activity and the simultaneous presence of metabolic syndrome, depression, and high homocysteine.

Methods: Data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used. 1146 participants were included in the analyses. Physical activity was objectively measured using accelerometry.

Results: With respect to the association between physical activity and the simultaneous presence of these three co-morbidities, women, compared to men, had a greater strength of association. For women, compared to those participants not having metabolic syndrome or at least mild depression or high homocysteine (reference groups), the odds ratio values for participants with 1) only depression, 2) only metabolic syndrome, 3) only high homocysteine, 4) metabolic syndrome and mild depression, and 5) metabolic syndrome, mild depression and high homocysteine, respectively, were 0.74 (95% confidence interval: 0.57-0.96, 0.77 (95% confidence interval: 0.61-0.97), 1.08 (95% confidence interval: 0.66-1.76), 0.43 (95% confidence interval: 0.32-0.58), and 0.15 (95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.44), respectively.

Conclusion: Promotion of physical activity in the adult population, especially among women, who were found to be less moderately- to vigorously-physically active than their male counterparts, may play an important role in reducing these deleterious conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Homocysteine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Life Style / ethnology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Homocysteine