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Physical Activity-Induced Modification of the Association of Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure with the Risk of Depression in Older Adults

 Woongbi Park  ;  Heeseon Jang  ;  Juyeon Ko  ;  Jungwoo Sohn  ;  Young Noh  ;  Sun-Young Kim  ;  Sang-Baek Koh  ;  Changsoo Kim  ;  Jaelim Cho 
 YONSEI MEDICAL JOURNAL, Vol.65(4) : 227-233, 2024-04 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Aged ; Air Pollutants* / adverse effects ; Air Pollutants* / analysis ; Air Pollution* / adverse effects ; Air Pollution* / analysis ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Depression / epidemiology ; Depression / etiology ; Environmental Exposure / adverse effects ; Exercise ; Humans ; Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects ; Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis ; Particulate Matter / adverse effects ; Particulate Matter / analysis
Air pollution ; depression ; exercise intensity ; nitrogen dioxide ; particulate matter ; physical activity
Purpose: Evidence suggests that long-term air pollution exposures may induce depression; however, the influence of physical ac tivity on this effect is unclear. We investigated modification of the associations between air pollution exposures and depression by the intensity of physical activity.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 1454 Korean adults. Depression was defined as a Geriatric Depres sion Scale score ≥8. Concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5: diameter ≤10 μm and ≤2.5 μm, respectively) and nitro gen dioxide (NO2) level at each participant’s residential address were estimated. Based on metabolic equivalents, physical activity intensity was categorized as inactive, minimally active, or health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA).

Results: Each 1-part per billion (ppb) NO2 concentration increase was significantly associated with a 6% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4%–8%] increase in depression risk. In older adults (≥65 years), a 1-ppb NO2 increase was associated (95% CI) with a 4% (1%–7%), 9% (5%–13%), and 21% (9%–33%) increase in depression risk in the inactive, minimally active, and HEPA groups, re spectively. Compared with the inactive group, the minimally active (p=0.039) and HEPA groups (p=0.004) had higher NO2 expo sure-associated depression risk. Associations of PM10 and PM2.5 with depression did not significantly differ by the intensity of physical activity.

Conclusion: We suggest that older adults who vigorously exercise outdoors may be susceptible to air pollution-related depression.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Chang Soo(김창수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5940-5649
Jang, Heeseon(장희선) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9737-7220
Cho, Jae Lim(조재림)
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