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Daytime Napping and TV Time Increase Risk of Depression: Study

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Mind It
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A recent study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry attempts to outline "the most comprehensive picture to date" of modifiable factors that might be associated with the risk of developing depression. Lifestyle practices such as diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and media intake have been identified as important contributory factors, according to a Money Control report.

“Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, but until now researchers have focused on only a handful of risk and protective factors, often in just one or two domains.” 
Dr. Karmel Choi, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Lead Author of the Paper.
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What Was the Study?


The researchers referred to a database of over 100,000 participants in the UK Biobank cohort study for their investigation. They systematically studied and modifiable factors and evaluated their relationship to the risk of depression.

What Did they Find?

In a surprising discovery, the tendency for daytime napping and the frequent use of multivitamins were studied to be associated with high depression risk.

The duration of time spent watching the television, which has gone up for many post the coronavirus-led stay-at-home orders, has also been identified as a potential risk factor. Additional data is required to determine whether the risk was due to the increased media exposure or because of inactivity during that period, said the researchers.

The researchers also found that socialising with other people as a behavioural factor reduces the risk of depression, even in the case of those more prone to depression due to early-life trauma or genetic predispositions.

“Far and away the most prominent of these factors was frequency of confiding in others, but also visits with family and friends, all of which highlighted the important protective effect of social connection and social cohesion. These factors are more relevant now than ever at a time of social distancing and separation from friends and family.”
Jordan Smoller, ScD Associate Chief for Research at MGH Department of Psychiatry, and Senior Author of the Study.

(With Inputs from Money Control)

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