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Cross-regional survey of seasonal affective disorders in adults and high-school students in Japan

, : Cross-regional survey of seasonal affective disorders in adults and high-school students in Japan. Journal of Affective Disorders 77(2): 127-133

Background: In Asian countries, there is no epidemiological report on seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in different age groups and different geographic regions surveyed at the same time. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence rates of SAD and risk factors for SAD in adults and high-school students, with special reference to the difference of winter SAD between northern and southern regions in Japan. Methods: A total of 3237 high-school students and 4858 workers living in Japan (31.3-43.5 degreeN) responded to this epidemiological survey using Japanese version of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). Results: The overall prevalence rates of winter SAD (subsyndromal winter SAD) and summer SAD (subsyndromal summer SAD) in high-school students were 0.91(2.21) and 0.81(2.57)%, respectively. In workers, these rates were 0.45(1.16) and 0.43(0.71)%, respectively. Although no regional difference was noted in high-school students with winter seasonal type, the estimated odds ratio of this type for northern workers was nearly 3-fold higher than the southern counterparts. The prevalence rates of each seasonal type were not significantly different between two sexes in both age groups. No clear dependence on latitude was seen with regard to summer SAD in both age groups. Limitations: The effect of climate on SAD could not be entirely excluded from geophysical factor as indexed by latitude. Conclusions: SAD was less common in adults than in high-school students. While latitude was a major determinant of winter type in adults, socio-cultural factors or other contributing factors might affect the development of this type in high-school students.


PMID: 14607389

DOI: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00110-6

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