Disability and depressive symptoms

Disability associated with depressive symptoms

Increasing severity of disability from entry to 5-year follow-up was positively associated with depressive symptoms. Men with no disability scored lower on depressive symptoms than those with disability in any of three domains (see below). The associations were stronger in Finland and Italy than in the Netherlands. Among men with mild disability, whose disability status worsened over 5 years, scored higher on depressive symptoms than those whose status improved.

Investigating disability

In elderly men from Finland, Italy and the Netherlands, self-reported information on disability and depressive symptoms was collected on 2 surveys, in 1990 and 1995. Three domains of disability were distinguished: instrumental, mobility-related and basic activities using the WHO questionnaire on Activities of Daily Living.

About the FINE study

In 1984, the SCS field surveys were extended with different aspects of health in the FINE (Finland Italy Netherlands Elderly) study. Similar surveys were also carried out in Serbia and Crete. Read more about the FINE study.

More about mental health, cognitive decline & depression

Nutrient intake and depressive symptoms

The results suggest that in contrast to the intake of B-vitamins, a high intake of the fish fatty acids EPA-DHA was associated with a low risk of depressive symptoms.