Specific medical conditions associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms in men

Evan Atlantis, Kylie Lange, Robert Goldney, Sean Martin, Matthew Haren, Anne Taylor, Peter O'Loughlin, Villis Marshall, Wayne Tilley, Gary Wittert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To define specific medical conditions associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms in men. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a community-based sample of Australian men (N = 1,195, aged 35-80 years; for 2002-2005). Depression was defined by: (1) symptomatic depression (current symptoms) or (2) current prescription for antidepressant(s) or (3) previously diagnosed depression. Logistic regression was used to determine prevalence odds ratios (OR) for depression independently associated with an extensive range of demographic, lifestyle, and clinical factors. Adjusted population attributable risk (PAR%) estimates were also computed. Results: Depression was significantly (ORs at P < 0.05) associated with previously diagnosed anxiety (12.0) and insomnia (4.4), not married (1.7), current smoker (1.7), low muscle strength tertile (1.7, P = 0.059), high triglycerides (1.6), high storage lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) tertile (1.8), past year general practitioner visits 5-9 (1.9), middle energy density tertile (0.4), and high systolic blood pressure (0.5). Significant PAR% estimates (at P < 0.05) were for previous anxiety (27.0%) and insomnia (16.1%), middle energy density tertile (-17.2%), high SBP (-23.5%), high triglycerides (15.2%), and high storage LUTS tertile (12.6%). Results strengthened when depression-related factors (previous anxiety and insomnia, psycholeptics, and cognition) were omitted, and became significant for CVD (OR 1.6; PAR 13.9%). Conclusions: Medical conditions associated with depression in men include high triglycerides, low muscle strength, CVD, and LUTS. Depressed men are likely to use health services frequently, be current smokers, not be married, eat unhealthily, and report previous diagnosis of anxiety and insomnia; which has important implications for clinicians managing male patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1303-1312
    Number of pages10
    JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Depression
    • LUTS
    • Muscle strength
    • Triglycerides


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