Network analysis of the relationship between depressive symptoms, demographics, nutrition, quality of life and medical condition factors in the Osteoarthritis Initiative database cohort of elderly North-American adults with or at risk for osteoarthritis
Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci
© Cambridge University Press 2019. AimsA complex interaction exists between age, body mass index, medical conditions, polypharmacotherapy, smoking, alcohol use, education, nutrition, depressive symptoms, functioning and quality of life (QoL). We aimed to examine the inter-relationships among these variables, test whether depressive symptomology plays a central role in a large sample of adults, and determine the degree of association with life-style and health variables.MethodsRegularised network analysis was applied to 3532 North-American adults aged ≥ 45 years drawn from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Network stability (autocorrelation after case-dropping), centrality of nodes (strength, M, the sum of weight of the connections for each node), and edges/regularised partial correlations connecting the nodes were assessed.ResultsPhysical and mental health-related QoL (M = 1.681; M = 1.342), income (M = 1.891), age (M = 1.416), depressive symptoms (M = 1.214) and education (M = 1.173) were central nodes. Depressive symptoms' stronger negative connections were found with mental health-related QoL (-0.702), income (-0.090), education (-0.068) and physical health-related QoL (-0.354). This latter was a 'bridge node' that connected depressive symptoms with Charlson comorbidity index, and number of medications. Physical activity and Mediterranean diet adherence were associated with income and physical health-related QoL. This latter was a 'bridge node' between the former two and depressive symptoms. The network was stable (stability coefficient = 0.75, i.e. highest possible value) for all centrality measures.ConclusionsA stable network exists between life-style behaviors and social, environmental, medical and psychiatric variables. QoL, income, age and depressive symptoms were central in the multidimensional network. Physical health-related QoL seems to be a 'bridge node' connecting depressive symptoms with several life-style and health variables. Further studies should assess such interactions in the general population.
School of Medicine