Depressive symptoms and circadian activity rhythm disturbances in community-dwelling older women

Jeanne E. Maglione, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Katherine W. Peters, Misti L. Paudel, Kristine Yaffe, Kristine E. Ensrud, Greg J. Tranah, Katie L. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives: Aging is associated with changes in circadian rhythms. Current evidence supports a role for circadian rhythms in the pathophysiology of depression. However, little is known about the relationship between depressive symptoms and circadian activity rhythms in older adults. We examined this association in community-dwelling older women. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 3,020 women (mean age: 83.55± 3.79 years) enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale categorizing participants as "normal" (0e2; referent group,N=1,961), "somedepressive symptoms" (3e5,N=704), or "depressed" (≥6,N=355). Circadian activity rhythm variablesweremeasuredusing wrist actigraphy. Results: In age-adjusted and Study of Osteoporotic Fractures siteeadjusted models, greater levels of depressive symptoms were associated with decreased amplitude (height; df = 3,014, t=-11.31, p for linear trend <0.001), pseudo F-statistic (robustness; df = 3,014, t = -8.07, p for linear trend <0.001), and mesor (mean modeled activity; df = 3014, t=-10.36, p for linear trend <0.001) of circadian activity rhythms. Greater levels of depressive symptoms were also associated with increased odds of being in the lowest quartile for amplitude (df = 1, χ2 = 9240, p for linear trend <0.001), pseudo F-statistic (df = 1, χ2 = 49.73, p for linear trend <0.001), and mesor (df = 1, χ2 = 81.12, p for linear trend <0.001). These associations remained significant in multivariate models. Post-hoc analyses comparing mean amplitude, mesor, and pseudo F-statistic values pair-wise between depression-level groups revealed significant differences between women with "some depressive symptoms" and the "normal" group. Conclusion: These data suggest a graded association between greater levels of depressive symptoms and more desynchronization of circadian activity rhythms in community-dwelling older women. This association was observed even for women endorsing subthreshold levels of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Maglione is supported by NIH R25MH7450 and a Mini-Grant in Aging provided by the UCSD Academic Geriatric Resource Center (09SD-A7-1-24). Dr. Ancoli-Israel is supported by National Institute on Aging grant AG08415 . The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) is also supported by National Institutes of Health funding . The National Institute on Aging provides support under the following grant numbers: AG05407 , AR35582 , AG05394 , AR35584 , AR35583 , R01 AG005407 , R01 AG027576-22 , 2 R01AG005394-22A1 , 2 R01 AG027574-22A1 , AG05407 , AR35582 , AG05394 , AR35584 , AR35583 , AG026720 .

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Actigraphy
  • Activity rhythms
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Depression
  • Older women
  • Subthreshold depression


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