Lower levels of physical activity in childhood predict adult depression

Jacka, F. N., Pasco, J. A., Dodd, S., Williams, L. J., Nicholson, G. C. and Berk, M. (2008). Lower levels of physical activity in childhood predict adult depression. In: ISAD 4th Biennial Conference, Capetown, South Africa, (S58-S59). 14-17 March 2008. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.12.021

Author Jacka, F. N.
Pasco, J. A.
Dodd, S.
Williams, L. J.
Nicholson, G. C.
Berk, M.
Title of paper Lower levels of physical activity in childhood predict adult depression
Conference name ISAD 4th Biennial Conference
Conference location Capetown, South Africa
Conference dates 14-17 March 2008
Journal name Journal of Affective Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2008
Sub-type Published abstract
DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2007.12.021
ISSN 0165-0327
Volume 107
Start page S58
End page S59
Total pages 2
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Background In cross-sectional and longitudinal community studies, regular exercise has been shown to be protective against the development of depression and has a therapeutic role in depression, while physical inactivity is a demonstrated risk factor for the development of depressive symptoms. Emerging evidence indicates that early life exposures influence adult health outcomes and there is cause to hypothesise a role for physical activity (PA) in childhood as a protective factor in adult depression. This investigation focused on the association between self-reported levels of PA in childhood and self-reported depressive illness in adulthood in a community sample of adult men and women from South-eastern Australia. Methods This study assessed 1404 men (20–96 yr) and 748 women (20–97 yr) participating in an ongoing Australian epidemiological study involving subjects randomly selected from the community (Geelong Osteoporosis Study). A self-report questionnaire based on DSM-IV criteria was utilised to determine lifetime prevalence rates of depression, and another ascertained levels of physical activity (Low PA vs High PA) in childhood, defined as < 15 yr of age. Results In this sample, 141 women (18.9%) and 169 men (12.0%) reported ever having a depressive episode (p < 0.001). Moreover, women were more likely than men to report Low PA in childhood (45.7% vs 23.2%, p < 0.001). Results of logistic regression analyses showed that Low PA in childhood was associated with an increased risk of reporting depression in adulthood (OR = 1.70, 95%CI = 1.32–2.17, p < 0.001). Adjustment for gender attenuated the relationship somewhat (OR = 1.53, 95%CI = 1.19–1.97, p = 0.001), however further adjustment for age and/or country of birth did not affect this relationship. Discussion In this community-based study, lower levels of self-reported PA in childhood increased the risk for self-reported depression in adulthood by more than 50%. These results indicate that lower levels of PA in childhood may be a risk factor for adult depression.
Keyword Depression
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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