Cardiorespiratory fitness and depression symptoms among adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cooper Center Longitudinal Study

Kerem Shuval, David Leonard, Laura F. DeFina, Carolyn E. Barlow, Jeffrey Drope, On Amir, Ayelet Gneezy, Shay Tzafrir, Karen G. Chartier, Mahmoud Qadan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the relation between cardiorespiratory fitness (fitness) and depression symptoms prior to and during COVID-19 among adults seeking preventive medical care. Participants consisted of 967 patients attending the Cooper Clinic (Dallas, TX) pre-pandemic (March 2018-December 2019) and during the pandemic (March-December 2020). The outcome, depression symptoms, was based on the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D). Maximal metabolic equivalents task (MET) levels for fitness were determined from the final treadmill speed and grade. Multiple linear regression models were computed by sex. Analysis revealed that mean fitness decreased from 11.4 METs (SD = 2.1) prior to the pandemic to 10.9 METs (SD = 2.3) during the pandemic (p-value < 0.001). The mean CES-D score increased from 2.8 (SD = 3.1) before to pandemic to 3.1 (SD = 3.2) during the pandemic (p-value = 0.003). Results from multiple linear regression indicate that increased fitness was associated with a statistically significant decrease in depression scores in men (−0.17 per MET; 95% CI −0.33, −0.02) but not women. This modest decrease may have been tempered by high fitness levels and low depression scores at baseline in this well-educated sample.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102065
Pages (from-to)102065
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Depression
  • Preventive Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics

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