Lower Odds of Poststroke Symptoms of Depression When Physical Activity Guidelines Met: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2012

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

One-third of individuals with stroke report symptoms of depression, which has a negative impact on recovery. Physical activity (PA) is a potentially effective therapy. Our objective was to examine the associations of subjectively assessed PA levels and symptoms of depression in a nationally representative stroke sample.

Methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional study of 175 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2012 cycle. Moderate, vigorous, and combination equivalent PA metabolic equivalent (MET)-minutes per week averages were derived from the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, and .the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines/American College of Sports Medicine recommendations of ≥500 MET-minutes per week of moderate, vigorous, or combination equivalent PA were used as cut points. Depression symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Results:

Meeting moderate PA guidelines resulted in 74% lower odds of having depression symptoms (P < .0001) and 89% lower odds of major symptoms of depression (P = .0003). Meeting vigorous guidelines showed a 91% lower odds of having mild symptoms of depression (P = .04). Participating in some moderate, vigorous, or combination equivalent PA revealed the odds of depression symptoms 13 times greater compared with meeting guidelines (P = .005); odds of mild symptoms of depression were 9 times greater (P = .01); and odds of major symptoms of depression were 15 times greater (P = .006).

Conclusions:

There is a lower risk of developing mild symptoms of depression when vigorous guidelines for PA are met and developing major symptoms of depression when moderate guidelines met. Participating in some PA is not enough to reduce the risk of depression symptoms.

Aaron and Gregory are with the Dept of Health Sciences and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Gregory is also with the Division of Physical Therapy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC. Simpson is with the Dept of Healthcare Leadership and Management, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Aaron (aarons@musc.edu) is corresponding author.
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