Moderating effects of moderate-intensity physical activity in the relationship between depressive symptoms and interleukin-6 in primary care patients

Chad D. Rethorst, Jan Moynihan, Jeffrey M. Lyness, Kathi L. Heffner, Benjamin P. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the relationship between interleukin (IL)-6 and depressive symptoms is moderated by participation in moderate-intensity physical activity in a sample of primary care patients. Elevated inflammation has been associated with a number of poor health outcomes. Depressive symptoms may be related to higher levels of the inflammatory marker IL-6; however, previous findings are inconsistent, possibly due to unidentified moderating factors. METHODS: A total of 107 participants, aged ≥40 years, were recruited in Rochester, New York, in 2006 to 2007. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Revised, participation in moderate-intensity physical activity was measured using a modified version of the Community Health Activities Model Program for Seniors Activity Questionnaire for Older Adults, and serum IL-6 concentrations were determined using standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocols and high-sensitivity, anti-cytokine antibody pairs. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted. RESULTS: The correlation between IL-6 and depressive symptoms was nonsignificant (r =.086, p =.40). The association between IL-6 and depressive symptoms was moderated by participation in moderate-intensity physical activity (p =.02). Among those who did not engage in moderate-intensity physical activity, higher levels of depressive symptoms were significantly associated with higher levels of IL-6 (r =.28, p =.05), whereas this association was not significant among those who did participate in moderate-intensity physical activity (r =-.13, p =.38). CONCLUSION: Participation in moderate-intensity physical activity may buffer the risk of higher inflammation often associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-269
Number of pages5
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • depression
  • depressive symptoms
  • exercise
  • inflammation
  • interleukin-6
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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