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The Association of Depressive Symptoms with Socioeconomic Status, General Health Conditions, and Health Behaviors in community-dwelling Adults



Parallel abstracts

Objectives: Our aim was to investigate the relationships between depressive symptoms and socioeconomic status, general health conditions, and health behaviors in community-dwelling adults in Taiwan. Methods: This study selected a cross-sectional sample of adults aged 20 and over from the ”National Survey on the Health Promotion Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior of Taiwanese Adults” in 2002, conducted by the Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire (TDQ), and the total score of ≥19 was used to identify depressive symptoms. Analysis was conducted using Chi-square and logistic regression. Results: Of the total sample of 23,466 adults, 3.4% of men aged 20~44, 5.4% of women aged 20~44, 3.0% of men aged 45~64, 5.5% of women aged 45~64, 5.5% of men aged ≥65, and 10.2% of women aged ≥65 had depressive symptoms. Poor general health conditions including poor self-rated health, chronic pain, difficulty in daily activities, and numbers of chronic diseases, were all strongly correlated with the presence of depressive symptoms in all six gender-age groups. Especially for men in the 20~44 and 45~64 age groups, depressive symptoms were associated with lower income level. For women aged 20~44, the only socioeconomic factor linked with depressive symptoms was marital status. Men and women aged 20~44 exercising regularly were less likely to have depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were associated with smoking and drinking behavior in women (especially in women aged 20~44 and aged ≥65). Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are strongly linked with general health conditions for all adults, and associated with socioeconomic factors and health behavior for specific gender and age groups. These findings suggest the need for a multidimensional approach to prevent depression.


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