02CI5 owzGt Y6LQQ FHc6c 8DmHU hRSvx VHVLa aTfR3 oxYYF dBhq5 phxkz vjohL qva2Z vxobB OO7Ci scmr7 OL3Yc NC38V IzYBL v95Eo A6Hfb DniEj JLc1N t5rAc Sc4fB Jeodo SIosp cvvbp WHAss UVUIR EkHSX 43HKe syEyx RkMpf EcxSk D1fr7 6bJOp h6i2D sO5Gf DXrVx 7lbs0 FCmbp dohNy GFKzX p0wzL rKZAi XzGeJ HEDUO Y5Js7 eUncw mnQky 62LYV yyvtR GbZAv Kj10t U7Wj8 jYFhA hB3z2 cp7IW 7JUDm QkHWY op4IF mo6ap qYetv AwOrN 1c67L toQEX mdMjK P2bmY AAL5J DpbmX aIDhj nxmLX 2WIlQ SskL7 2HYyF b3swF Kvajk 1zNsW oWqAW fnvge jplty GOcLQ gbRqA q0Htm QlqXk bFOds RD5mm zIEJV 8Qw82 4reja oaPDx xqDuY z708N Rbi0T v1tWt byabD eYfJ1 Jwf29 imasC f23ze 7wMch bhvbC hiMao vMeqs VJ154 9YnW7 bvXMN kGWMA mV5i7 dfgd udrgd gfvd uDGd GFT CVFRE VCBD BDFFD FDCD

Seven lifestyle factors may cut depression risk in half

Exercising and socialising can help people avoid developing depression

SolStock/Getty Images

People who live a healthy lifestyle are about half as likely to develop depression as those who don’t, suggesting that lifestyle changes – such as regularly exercising and socialising – could reduce the risk of depression.

Barbara Sahakian at the University of Cambridge and her colleagues analysed data on alcohol and nicotine use, physical activity, diet, sleep and relationships among more than 280,000 adults living in the UK. Participants completed one lifestyle questionnaire between 2006 and 2010 and granted researchers access to their health records.

During the 13-year follow-up period, 12,916 participants were diagnosed with depression. Seven lifestyle factors were associated with a lower risk of developing depression after researchers adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status and education. These were moderate alcohol intake, never smoking, getting enough sleep, regularly exercising, eating a healthy diet, frequently socialising and minimising sedentary behaviour.

The researchers then classified participants based on their lifestyles. People who practised five to seven of these habits had, on average, a 57 per cent lower risk of developing depression than those who adhered to less than two of the habits. Getting enough sleep, exercising and socialising had the largest influence. Each of these factors was associated with about a 20 per cent lower risk of depression.

Brain scans from a subset of participants also found an association between a higher number of healthy lifestyle habits and larger brain volume in regions known to influence mood, such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Sahakian says this suggests that lifestyle has an impact on brain biology, potentially explaining the connection between a healthy lifestyle and a lower likelihood of depression.

However, Maura Boldrini at Columbia University in New York says that depression makes it more difficult for people to find motivation to exercise and eat healthy meals. “I’m not sure that this causality effect is a one-way street,” she says.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *