Seasonality of depressive symptoms in women but not in men: a cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank cohort

Lyall, L. M. et al. (2018) Seasonality of depressive symptoms in women but not in men: a cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank cohort. Journal of Affective Disorders, 229, pp. 296-305. (doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.106) (PMID:29329063)

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Abstract

Background: We examined whether seasonal variations in depressive symptoms occurred independently of demographic and lifestyle factors, and were related to change in day length and/or outdoor temperature. Methods: In a cross-sectional analysis of >150,000 participants of the UK Biobank cohort, we used the cosinor method to assess evidence of seasonality of a total depressive symptoms score and of low mood, anhedonia, tenseness and tiredness scores in women and men. Associations of depressive symptoms with day length and mean outdoor temperature were then examined. Results: Seasonality of total depressive symptom scores, anhedonia and tiredness scores was observed in women but not men, with peaks in winter. In women, increased day length was associated with reduced low mood and anhedonia scores, independent of demographic and lifestyle factors. For women, longer day length was associated with increased tiredness. Associations with day length were not independent of the average outdoor temperature preceding assessment. Limitations: This was a cross-sectional investigation – longitudinal studies of within-subject seasonal variation in mood are necessary. Outcome measures relied on self-report and measured only a subset of depressive symptoms. Conclusion: This large, population-based study provides evidence of seasonal variation in depressive symptoms in women. Shorter days were associated with increased feelings of low mood and anhedonia in women. Clinicians should be aware of these population-level sex differences in seasonal mood variations in order to aid recognition and treatment of depression and subclinical depressive symptoms.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ward, Mr Joey and Celis, Dr Carlos and Wyse, Dr Cathy and Gill, Professor Jason and Cullen, Dr Breda and Smith, Professor Daniel and Pell, Professor Jill and Ferguson, Amy and Lyall, Dr Laura and Mackay, Dr Daniel and Bailey, Dr Mark and Strawbridge, Dr Rona and Lyall, Dr Donald and Graham, Dr Nicholas
Authors: Lyall, L. M., Wyse, C. A., Celis Morales, C. A., Lyall, D. M., Cullen, B., Mackay, D., Ward, J., Graham, N., Strawbridge, R. J., Gill, J. M.R., Ferguson, A., Bailey, M. E.S., Pell, J. P., Curtis, A. M., and Smith, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Affective Disorders
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-0327
ISSN (Online):1573-2517
Published Online:04 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Affective Disorders 229: 296-305
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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