Physical activity and symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults with and without visual impairments: The HUNT Study
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Purpose: To examine the association of leisure-time physical activity (PA) and symptoms of anxiety and depression among adults with and without self-reported visual impairment. Methods: A population-based cohort study including 34,393 participants 20–67 years of age from the second wave of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT2, 1995–1997) who also participated in the follow-up (HUNT3, 2006–2008). Of the participants, 3719 (10.8%) had self-reported visual impairment (SRVI). Unadjusted and fully adjusted generalized linear models were used to calculate relative risks (RR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of PA with anxiety and depression symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS) separately for visual impairment and gender. Results: At follow-up, a two-folded higher prevalence of HADS-defined anxiety and depression (a score ≥ 8) was found among adults with SRVI than among adults with self-reported no visual impairment (SRNI). In adults with SRVI and SRNI, fewer depression symptoms at follow-up were significantly associated with high baseline PA scores compared with low PA scores, after adjusting for possible confounders (p < 0.05). In adults with SRNI, high baseline PA was related to fewer anxiety symptoms at follow-up compared with their less physically active counterparts, but the associations turned non-significant after adjusting for possible confounders (p > 0.05). PA was not significantly related to anxiety symptoms among adults with SRVI (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Regular PA was associated with fewer depression symptoms in adults with SRVI and SRNI, with less clear associations found for anxiety symptoms.