Association between Proximity of the Elementary School and Depression in Japanese Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study from the JAGES 2016 Survey
Advanced Preventive Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 260-8672, Japan
Takenaka Corporation, 1-13, 4-chome, Hommachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053, Japan
Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cyo, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, 7-430 Morikoka-cho, Obu-shi, Aichi 474-8511, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020500
Received: 20 November 2020 / Revised: 25 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 9 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults)
Depression among older adults is one of the most critical public health issues. The proximity of elementary schools has been positively associated with neighborhood social cohesion and quality of life. However, no studies have identified an association between the proximity of elementary school and older adults’ mental health. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the association between the proximity of elementary schools, one of the core facilities of neighborhood communities in Japan, and depression in older adults. A total of 131,871 participants (63,430 men 73.7 ± 6.1 years, 68,441 women 73.8 ± 6.2 years) were analyzed from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) 2016 survey. Logistic regression analysis showed that there was no association between distance to elementary school and depression among males. However, among females, compared with the participants living within 400 m from the nearest elementary school, the odds ratio of depression for those living between 400 and 799 m and more than 800 m away were 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.12) and 1.07 (95% CI 1.00–1.15), respectively. The findings may be useful when considering the design of communities around elementary schools and the planning of facilities as a population-based approach to promote mental health of older women.