Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 153–159 | Cite as

Relationships between health behaviour and depression in the aged

  • Sirkka-Liisa Kivelä
  • K. Pahkala
Original Articles


Relationships between the occurrence of depression, drinking alcohol, performing physical exercise and smoking were explored in Finns aged 60 years or over. A multivariate analysis based on log-linear models showed a positive relationship between higher occurrence of depression, smoking and no regular physical excercise in men, and between higher occurrence of depression, not smoking, abstaining and no regular physical exercise in women. We suggest that factors related to personality traits and coping styles explain both the relationship between depression and smoking, and sex differences in smoking habits; the relaxing and euphoric effect of a small amount of alcohol may explain the association between lower occurrence of depression and non-abstaining in women. The association between higher occurrence of depression and no regular physical exercise may reflect either the cause of depression, or the effects of depressive disorder. (Aging 3; 153–159, 1991)


Aged alcohol depression physical exercise smoking 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Winokur G., Rimmer J., Reich T.: Alcoholism. IV. Is there more than one type of alcoholism? Br. J. Psychiatry 118: 525–531, 1971.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cadoret R., Winokur G.: Depression in alcoholism. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 233: 34–39, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tyndel M.: Psychiatric study of one thousand alcoholic patients. J. Can. Psychiatr. Ass. 19: 21–24, 1974.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Keeler M.H., Taylor J., Miller W.C.: Are all recently detoxified alcoholics depressed? Am. J. Psychiatry 136: 586–588, 1979.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hamm J.E., Major L.F., Brown G.L.: The quantitative measurement of depression and anxiety in male alcoholics. Am. J. Psychiatry 136: 580–582, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fowler R.C., Liskow B.I., Tanna V.L.: Alcoholism, depression and life events. J. Affective Disord. 2: 127–135, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    O’Sullivan K.: Depression and its treatment in alcoholics: a review. Can. J. Psychiatry 29: 379–384, 1984.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yanish D.I., Battle J.: Relationship between self-esteem, depression and alcohol consumption among adolescents. Psychol. Rep. 57: 331–334, 1985.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mayfield D., Coleman L.L.: Alcohol use and affective disorder. Dis. Nerv. Syst. 29: 467–474, 1968.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reich L., Davies R., Himmelhoch J.: Excessive alcohol use in manic depressive illness. Am. J. Psychiatry 131: 83–86, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hoffman F.G.: Handbook of drug and alcohol abuse: biomedical aspects. Oxford University Press, New York, 1975, pp. 63–69.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mendelson J.H.: Experimentally induced chronic intoxication and withdrawal in alcoholics. Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol (Suppl. 2), 1964.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Allman L.R., Taylor J., Nathan P.E.: Group drinking during stress: effects on drinking behaviour, affect, psychopathology. Am. J. Psychiatry 129: 669–678, 1960.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goldman M.S.: To drink or not to drink: an experimental analysis of group drinking decisions by four alcoholics. Am. J. Psychiatry 131: 1123–1130, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stenbäck A.: A field study of depression in old age. Atk. Gerontol. 9: 277–282, 1979.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Morgan W.P., Roberts J.A., Brand F.R., Feinerman A.D.: Psychological effects of chronic physical activity. Med. Sci. Sports 2: 213–217, 1970.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Morgan W.P.: Psychological consequences of vigorous physical activity and sport. In: Morgan W.P.: Introduction to sport psychology. SV Mosby, St. Louis, 1976.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Greist J.H., Klein M.H., Eischens R.R., Faris J., Gurman A.S., Morgan W.P.: Running as treatment for depression. Compr. Psychiatry 20: 41–54, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Morgan W.P.: Selected physiological and psychomotor correlates of depression in psychiatric patients. Res. Quart. 39: 1037–1043, 1968.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hughes J.R., Hatsukami D.K., Mitchell J.E., Dahlgren L.A.: Prevalence of smoking among psychiatric outpatients. Am. J. Psychiatry 143: 993–997, 1986.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yates W.R., Wallace R.: Cardiovascular risk factors in affective disorder. J. Affective Disord. 12: 129–134, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zung W.W.K.: A self-rating depression scale. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 12: 63–70, 1965.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K., Tervo R.R.: Prevalence of depressive symptoms in elderly Finns. Nord. Psykiatr. Tidskr. 40: 45–50, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K., Laippala P.: Prevalence of depression in an elderly Finnish population. Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 78: 401–413, 1988.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K., Eronen A.: Depressive symptoms and signs that differentiate major and atypical depression from dysthymic disorder in elderly Finns. Int. J. Ger. Psychiatry 4: 79–85, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K.: Symptoms of depression in old people in Finland. Z. Gerontol. 21: 257–263, 1988.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K.: Hallucinatory depression in the elderly -a community study. Z. Alternforsch. 43: 331–339, 1988.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K.: Clinician-rated symptoms and signs of depression in aged Finns. Int. J. Soc. Psychiatry 34: 274–284, 1988.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kivelä S-L., Pahkala K.: Dysthymic disorder in the aged in the community. Soc. Psychiatr. Epidemiol. 24: 77–83, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kitchell M.A., Barnes R.F., Veith R.C., Okimoto J.T., Raskind M.A.: Screening for depression in hospitalized geriatric medical patients. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 20: 174–177, 1982.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Okimoto J.T., Barnes R.F., Veith R.C., Raskind M.A., Inui T.S., Carter W.B.: Screening for depression in geriatric medical patients. Am. J. Psychiatry 139: 799–802, 1982.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, ed. 3. American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C., 1980, pp. 205–224.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kivelä S-L., Piha T., Niemensivu H., Eronen A.: Eläkeikäisten suomalaisten terveyskäyttäytyminen. Kevät 1985. (Health behaviour of elderly Finns. Spring 1985). Helsinki: Kansanterveyslaitoksen julkaisuja B2/1986. (Publications of National Public Health Institute B2/1986) 27-31, 1986.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kivelä S-L., Nissinen A.: Nutrition education and changes in nutrition behavior among the 65–74 year old population living in Eastern Finland. J. Nutr. Educ. 19: 77–82, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nissinen A., Kivelä S-L.: Health knowledge, health behaviour and health status among 65–74 years old population in eastern Finland. Z. Gerontol. 19: 125–130, 1986.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kivelä S-L., Nissinen A.: Factors related to health behaviour among the elderly in eastern Finland. Health Educ. J. 45: 91–94, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kivelä S-L., Nissinen A., Puska P.: Dimensions of health behaviour among the elderly population in eastern Finland. Funct. Neurol. 3: 309–325, 1988.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis s.r.l. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirkka-Liisa Kivelä
    • 1
  • K. Pahkala
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Ähtärinjärvi Health CentreÄhtäriFinland

Personalised recommendations