Physical activity is inversely associated with depressive symptoms, and cigarette smoking is positively associated with depressive symptoms. Data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) and the NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up study were analyzed to determine whether the relationship between physical activity and self-reported distress (depressive symptoms as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) was different for cigarette smokers and nonsmokers. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (adjusted for age, race, sex, education, alcohol use, and perceived health status) for depressive symptoms (≥16) associated with physical activity and smoking status among 2,054 respondents. At baseline, the odds ratio for depressive symptoms was about 2 times higher for moderately active smokers and nonsmokers, and 3 times higher for low active smokers and nonsmokers, compared with highly active nonsmokers. For 1,132 persons with a low number of depressive symptoms (<16) at baseline, the incidence of depressive symptoms after 7-9 yr of follow-up was about 2 times higher for low/moderately active smokers and nonsmokers than for highly active nonsmokers. The association between physical activity and the prevalence and incidence of depressive symptoms is not significantly modified by smoking status.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Chronic Disease Control and Community Intervention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
Submitted for publication August 1994.
Accepted for publication April 1995.
David Brown, Ph.D., Janet Croft, Ph.D., and Rob Anda, M.D, M.S., are with the Division of Chronic Disease Control and Community Intervention, and Luis Escobedo, M.D., M.P.H., is with the Office on Smoking and Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4770 Buford Highway N.E., Atlanta, GA 30341-3724. Drue Barrett, Ph.D., is with the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, CDC. The original source for the data used in this study is the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC. The analyses, interpretations, and conclusions reached in this study, however, are those of the authors and not NCHS.
Address for correspondence: David R. Brown, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Mail Stop K-46, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724.