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Changes in rates of depressive symptoms in a Japanese working population: life-table analysis from a 4-year follow-up study

  • N. Kawakami (a1), R. E. Roberts (a1), E. S. Lee (a1) and S. Araki (a1)

Synopsis

To investigate the effects of demographic variables on changes in rates of depressive symptoms in a non-clinical population, a 4-year follow-up study was conducted on a total of 6378 employees of a Japanese electrical company. Data were collected five times at 1-year intervals (T0—T4) using a questionnaire that included the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS). Of the non-depressed (i.e. having a SDS score of 47 or less) at baseline (N = 4857), 14% were found depressed at least once during T1—T4. Younger, never married, female and blue-collar workers were significantly at greater risk for becoming depressed during the follow-up period (P < 0·05). Of the depressed at baseline (N = 505), 20% were depressed every time during T1—T4. Younger workers were significantly at greater risk for persistence of depressive symptoms during the follow-up period (P < 0·05). The results suggested that age is associated with both occurrence and persistence of depressive symptoms, while gender, marital status and occupation are associated only with the occurrence.

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Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr Norito Kawakami, Department of Public Health, Gifu University School of Medicine, 40 Tsukasamachi, Gifu 500, Japan.

References

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