10 June 2019
Depression is a chronic mental disorder that severely impacts the older adult population globally. Nutritional psychiatry is an approach that has gained traction over the years. Exploring locally relevant consumption of common types of fish, vegetables and fruits (V&F), meat and problematic alcohol use (PAU) as risk factors associated with depression and subsyndromal depression (SSD) could reveal modifiable factors that could be targeted in the local older adult population in Singapore.
Data collected from the Well-being of the Singapore Elderly (WiSE) study, a cross-sectional population-based epidemiological study of Singapore’s older adult population was analysed for the purposes of this study. Two thousand five hundred sixty-five participants were recruited and comprised of Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged ≥60 years. Data on fish, meat, and V&F consumption were collected using the sociodemographic and risk factor questionnaire. The CAGE (Cut, Annoyed, Guilt, and Eye-opener) questionnaire was used to determine PAU. The Geriatric Mental State-Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer Assisted Taxonomy (GMS-AGECAT) was used to obtain participants’ diagnosis of depression or SSD. A multinomial logistic regression was used to explore the relationship between depression and dietary factors.
Consumption of V&F in the last 3 days was less likely to be associated with depression and SSD. Frequent consumption of specific species of fish was associated with depression and SSD. PAU and the frequent consumption of Himantura gerrardi (stingray) were more likely to be associated with SSD. Finally, meat consumption was more likely to be associated with depression and SSD.