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Association between health behaviors and depression: findings from the 2019 Brazilian National Health Survey


  • Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Campinas (SP), Brasil
  • Lhais de Paula Barbosa Medina Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Campinas (SP), Brasil
  • Margareth Guimarães Lima Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Campinas (SP), Brasil
  • Renata Cruz Soares de Azevedo Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Campinas (SP), Brasil
  • Neuciani Ferreira da Silva Sousa Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá (MT), Brasil
  • Deborah Carvalho Malta Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – Belo Horizonte (MG), Brasil



depression, health behavior, alcohol drinking, food consumption, sedentary behavior


Objective: To analyze the association of depression with various health behaviors and to verify if the associations differ according to gender or income. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study based on data from 65,803 Brazilian adults (18-59 years old) from the National Health Survey, conducted in 2019. The presence of depression was evaluated using PHQ-9. The prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and feeding indicators were estimated according to the presence of depression. Stratified analyses were developed according to sex and income and prevalence ratios was estimated using Poisson Regression. Results: There was a significant association between depression and all indicators studied, except for eventual alcohol consumption. Depression was associated with heavy episodic drinking and insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables only in women. In men, the associations of depression with sedentary lifestyle and with being a former smoker were stronger than in women. Only in men, the occasionally consumption of alcohol was more prevalent in those without depression. The analysis stratified by income revealed that the association of depression with physical inactivity is stronger in the upper income group and the association with heavy episodic drinking is only significant in the lower income stratum. Conclusion: The results indicate the need to consider mental health in programs aimed at reducing harmful health behaviors and the specificity of sociodemographic groups.


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Health Sciences