Lifestyle factors and depressive symptoms

Moderate physical activity inversely associated with depression

At least mild physical activities (2 kcal/kg/hour, so f.i. for a 70 kg person that would be 140 kcal/hour) were inversely related to depressive symptoms in the baseline survey of the Finland, Italy, Netherlands Elderly study. One unit of moderate physical activity (30 min per day of walking, cycling, gardening and sports) at baseline was associated with a 3% lower risk of depressive symptoms 5 years later.

Moderate alcohol intake inversely related to depression but not to smoking

Moderate alcohol intake (less than 31 gram per day, equal to 3 glasses/d) entry was related to a 65% lower risk of depressive symptoms 5 years later, but the prevalence of smoking did not predict depressive symptoms.

More about healthy aging

From 1984 onwards, additional studies started to examine indicators of healthy ageing in the elderly populations of in the SCS and related studies.


Measuring functional status

Functional status was measured with a self-administered 13-item WHO-questionnaire on activities of daily living.