Seasonal variations in mood and behavior associate with common chronic diseases and symptoms in a population-based study

Psychiatry Res. 2016 Apr 30;238:181-188. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.02.023. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


The purpose of this study was to assess how seasonality is associated with some of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the general Finnish population. The global seasonality score (GSS) was used to measure the magnitude of seasonality in 4689 participants, in addition to which they reported the extent to which the seasonal variations in mood and behavior were experienced as a problem. Regression models and the odds ratios were adopted to analyze the associations adjusted for a range of covariates. Seventy percent of the participants had seasonal variations in sleep duration, social activity, mood, or energy level, and forty percent those in weight and appetite. Angina pectoris and depression were significantly associated with seasonality throughout the analysis. Hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, other (than rheumatoid) joint diseases and other (than depressive) psychological illnesses were significantly associated with experiencing a problem due to the seasonal variations, with an increase in the GSS, and with seasonal affective disorder and its subsyndromal form. The co-occurrence of the seasonal variations in mood and behavior with certain common NCDs warrants future research to have insights into the etiology and potentially shared pathways and mechanisms of action.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Chronic; Complex diseases; Depressive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / psychology
  • Appetite
  • Body Weight
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / psychology
  • Seasons*
  • Sleep
  • Social Behavior