Exploring the Non-Linear Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Depression in an Elderly Population in Gangneung: The Gangneung Health Study
Kim, Sang A.
Morris, Robert G.
Park, Woong Sub
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine a J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and depression among the elderly in South Korea.; Materials and Methods: Cross-section data were drawn from a community-based sample of individuals 60 years of age and older (n=1819). Respondents completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Intensification Test (AUDIT) and the Korean Beck Depression Inventory. Using a regression approach, the effect of alcohol consumption as a non-linear effect was assessed in relation to gender, marital status, exercise, smoking, age, education, and physical and mental health.; Results: AUDIT total score were found to exert linear and quadratic effects that were significantly associated with higher depression scores among sample respondents. The results lend support to a J-shaped relationship between alcohol use and depression, wherein abstainers and problem drinkers were at a higher risk of depression.; Conclusion: This study confirms a J-shaped (i.e., curvilinear) relationship between alcohol consumption and depression among elderly South Koreans, similar to that frequently found in studies of Western-based samples. The findings of this study, therefore, imply the applicability of the J-shaped relationship hypothesis for non-Western society samples and within different cultural contexts.;