A genetic risk factor for major depression and suicidal ideation is mitigated by physical activity

Psychiatry Res. 2017 Mar:249:304-306. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.01.002. Epub 2017 Jan 20.


We evaluated associations of five candidate polymorphisms (Bcl1 [rs41423247], -2C/G [rs2070951], COMT [rs737865], Val66Met [rs6265], and 5HTTLPR [biallelic and triallelic [5HTTLPR/rs25531]) with probable MDD and suicidal ideation (SI), the effects of physical activity on these endpoints, and whether physical activity attenuates genetic risk in military members (N=736). C carriers who were also less physically active were 3.3 times as likely to meet criteria for probable MDD and 9.6 times as likely to endorse SI as compared to physically active GG carriers. An adequate dose of physical activity diminishes risk of MDD and SI imposed by a genetic predisposition.

Keywords: Exercise; Polymorphism; Suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / genetics*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Suicidal Ideation*