Difference in the risk of depressive symptoms associated with physical activity in persons with diabetes: Across age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: To investigate the link between depressive symptoms and physical activity (PA) by examining their association across genders, age, and race/ethnicity. METHODS: Data of the cross-sectional study were from the 2011 and 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The Patient Health Questionnaire-8, a well-validated instrument to measure depressive symptoms was used. PA was categorized as active, moderately active, and inactive. A generalized linear model specified with a Poisson distribution and log link was performed to investigate the association between depressive symptoms and PA across population characteristics. RESULTS: No significant association between PA and depressive symptoms between genders and across racial/ethnic groups was found. Persons aged 65 years or older showed a significantly lower risk of depressive symptoms than those below 45years when physically active (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio (APR) 0.36, 95% CI=0.16-0.82) and moderately active (APR 0.39, 95% CI=0.16-0.98). LIMITATIONS: The study included only leisure-time PA. Well-designed surveys that reflect a wider scope of PA are needed to strengthen the analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to younger adults, older adults may gain further health benefits in reducing the risk of depressive symptoms by being physically active. Similar health benefits may be gained from PA between genders and between racial/ethnic groups. The different association between PA and depressive symptoms provides practical implications for the effective management of depressive symptoms in persons with diabetes.

published proceedings

  • J Affect Disord

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J., Callaghan, T., Ory, M., Zhao, H., & Bolin, J.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Jusung||Callaghan, Timothy||Ory, Marcia||Zhao, Hongwei||Bolin, Jane

publication date

  • May 2020