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Dietary patterns and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women



Although several studies have reported associations of depressive state with specific nutrients and foods, few studies examined the association with dietary patterns in adults. We investigated the association between major dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in Japanese.


Subjects were 521 municipal employees (309 men and 212 women), aged 21–67 years, who participated in a health survey at the time of periodic checkup. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Dietary patterns were derived by using principal component analysis of the consumption of 52 food and beverage items, which was assessed by a validated brief diet history questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios of depressive symptoms (CES-D 16) with adjustment for potential confounding variables.


We identified three dietary patterns. A healthy Japanese dietary pattern characterized by high intakes of vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and soy products was associated with fewer depressive symptoms. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of having depressive symptoms for the lowest through highest tertiles of the healthy Japanese dietary pattern score were 1.00 (reference), 0.99 (0.62–1.59) and 0.44 (0.25–0.78), respectively (P for trend=0.006). Other dietary patterns were not appreciably associated with depressive symptoms.


Our findings suggest that a healthy Japanese dietary pattern may be related to decreased prevalence of depressive status.

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We thank Tamami Hatano, Akihiko Tanaka and Yuko Ejima (Kyushu University); Mio Ozawa (Fukuoka Women's University); and Akiko Hayashi and Kie Nagao (International Medical Center of Japan) for their help in data collection. This study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B)(21790598) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (to Dr Nanri) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)(18590601) and (B)(21390213) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (to Dr Mizoue).

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Nanri, A., Kimura, Y., Matsushita, Y. et al. Dietary patterns and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 832–839 (2010).

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  • cross-sectional studies
  • depression
  • dietary patterns
  • Japanese

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