Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Teenage physical fitness reduces the risk of suicidal behavior later in life

26.06.2013
Being in good physical shape at 18 years of age can be linked with a reduced risk of attempted suicide later in life. So says a study of over one million Swedish men conducted by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
A new, extensive report from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare on child and adolescent health shows that teenagers and young adults in Sweden have worse mental health than their age cohorts in other western countries.

Another report that is part of a new social welfare study shows that the number of serious suicide attempts among 19-23 year olds with activity compensation has increased from 115 per year to 460 per year in Sweden between 1995-2010.

At the same time, the number of suicides in the 10 to 45 age group increased. Even the percentage of young people with no activity compensation who attempted to take their life increased.

In order to break this trend, research has now focused on the factors that can prevent mental illness and the risk of suicidal behavior.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have been able to use a study of 1,136,527 Swedish men to show that there is a link between exercising as a young person and a reduced risk of suicidal behavior later in life.

"Being in poor physical shape at 18 years of age, measured as the test results on an exercise bike during their medical exam for compulsory military service, can be linked to a risk of suicidal behavior as an adult that is 1.8 times greater," says Margda Waern, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

The study shows that the increased risk was evident even 42 years after the exam for military service.

It has previously been shown that physical exercise has a highly positive effect on brain function, e.g. more nerve cells are developed with physical exercise.

"The teenage years are a critical period in terms of brain development since this is when social and emotional faculties are established. Therefore, it was important to do a larger study on the importance of physical fitness in terms of suicidal behavior in this age group," says Maria Åberg, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy who led the study together with Professor Margda Waern.

In the study, which covers all Swedish men born between 1950 and 1987 who completed the previously mandatory exam, researchers compared the results from physical tests during the exam with the national registers of disease and death.

By carefully examining the roughly 340,000 brothers who took part in the study, researchers were able to study how hereditary factors and the home environment affect this relationship.
In a much discussed study published in 2012, the researcher group showed that good physical fitness as a teenager can also be linked to decreased risk of severe depression later in life.

"But even when we exclude individuals who suffer from severe depression in connection with suicide or attempted suicide, the link between poor physical shape and an increased risk of suicidal behavior remains," says Margda Waern.

While depression is a particularly strong predictor of suicidal behavior in later life, the picture among younger people is complex and many factors are involved.

"One theory is that the brain becomes more resistant to different types of stress if you are physically active," says Maria Åberg.
Researchers think that physical exercise should be considered in suicide prevention projects aimed at young people.

The new findings are supported by earlier cross-sectional studies where teenagers are interviewed about their physical fitness connected with the risk for suicidal thoughts.

The article Cardiovascular fitness in early adulthood and future suicidal behavior in men followed up to 42 years was published in Psychological Medicine.

Contact:
Maria Åberg, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and physician at Åby district health center in Mölndal
+4610-47 33 960
+46709-668274
mab@neuro.gu.se

Margda Waern, psychiatrist and professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
+4631-342 21 64
+46702-272205
margda.Waern@neuro.gu.se

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Zinc Deficiency Linked to Activation of Hedgehog Signaling Pathway
20.04.2015 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

nachricht UV light robot to clean hospital rooms could help stop spread of 'superbugs'
15.04.2015 | Texas A&M University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Advances in Molecular Electronics: Lights On – Molecule On

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Konstanz are working on storing and processing information on the level of single molecules to create the smallest possible components that will combine autonomously to form a circuit. As recently reported in the academic journal Advanced Science, the researchers can switch on the current flow through a single molecule for the first time with the help of light.

Dr. Artur Erbe, physicist at the HZDR, is convinced that in the future molecular electronics will open the door for novel and increasingly smaller – while also...

Im Focus: Pruning of Blood Vessels: Cells Can Fuse With Themselves

Cells of the vascular system of vertebrates can fuse with themselves. This process, which occurs when a blood vessel is no longer necessary and pruned, has now been described on the cellular level by Prof. Markus Affolter from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. The findings of this study have been published in the journal “PLoS Biology”.

The vascular system is the supply network of the human organism and delivers oxygen and nutrients to the last corners of the body. So far, research on the...

Im Focus: Astronomers reveal supermassive black hole's intense magnetic field

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a...

Im Focus: A “pin ball machine” for atoms and photons

A team of physicists from MPQ, Caltech, and ICFO proposes the combination of nano-photonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems and creating new states of matter.

Ultracold atoms in the so-called optical lattices, that are generated by crosswise superposition of laser beams, have been proven to be one of the most...

Im Focus: UV light robot to clean hospital rooms could help stop spread of 'superbugs'

Can a robot clean a hospital room just as well as a person?

According to new research out of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, that is indeed the case. Chetan Jinadatha, M.D., M.P.H., assistant...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

World Conference On Regenerative Medicine 2015: Registration And Abstract Submission Now Open

25.03.2015 | Event News

University presidents from all over the world meet in Hamburg

19.03.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-Power Laser Spinoff Proves Versatility Is Strength

20.04.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

New “Cool Roof Time Machine” Will Accelerate Cool Roof Deployment

20.04.2015 | Architecture and Construction

STAR Heavy Flavor Tracker Detects Signs of Charm at RHIC

20.04.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>