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Open AccessCommunication
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 738; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070738

Geographic Elevation, Car Driving, and Depression among Elderly Residents in Rural Areas: The Shimane CoHRE Study

1
Institute of General Education, Kyoto Sangyo University, Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8555, Japan
2
Department of Functional Pathology, School of Medicine, Shimane University, 89-1 Enya-cho, Izumo, Shimane 693-8501, Japan
3
Center for Community-Based Health Research and Education (CoHRE), Organization for the Promotion of Project Research, Shimane University, 223-8 Enya-cho, Izumo, Shimane 693-8501, Japan
4
Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Clinical Research Centre (CRC), Building 28, floor 11, Jan Waldenströms Gata 35, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö SE-205 02, Sweden
5
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Medical School Office Building (MSOB), 251 Campus Drive MC 5411, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract

Given that public transportation networks are often worse in rural areas than in urban areas, it is difficult for elderly non-drivers to access health-promoting goods, services, and resources related to mental health. Moreover, geographical location, assessed by elevation, could modify this association in a rural area. The aim of this study was to test whether the association between car driving (being a driver or not) and depression, as measured by the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), varied by elevation. Data were collected from a cross-sectional study conducted in the town of Ohnan located in a rural area of Japan. After excluding participants with missing data (n = 26), 876 participants were analysed in this study. After adjustment for potential confounders, being a non-driver had a significantly higher odds ratio of SDS (40+) among elderly people living at a low elevation (odds ratio = 2.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.28–3.71). However, similar findings were not observed among elderly people living at a high elevation. These results suggest that car driving importantly predicts depression in elderly people living at relatively low elevations in rural areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; elevation; rural area; elderly people depression; elevation; rural area; elderly people
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hamano, T.; Takeda, M.; Sundquist, K.; Nabika, T. Geographic Elevation, Car Driving, and Depression among Elderly Residents in Rural Areas: The Shimane CoHRE Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 738.

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