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Epidemiol Health > Volume 43; 2021 > Article
Epidemiology and Health 2021;43: e2021062-0.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021062    Published online Sep 8, 2021.
Associations of regional-level perceived stress and depression with health-related quality of life in Korean adults: a multilevel analysis of 2017 Korea Community Health Survey data
Eunsu Kim1  , Min-Ho Shin2  , Jung-Ho Yang2  , Soon-Ki Ahn3  , Baeg-Ju Na4  , Hae-Sung Nam5 
1Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea
3Public Health and Medical Services Office, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
4Graduate School of Urban Health, University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea
5Department of Preventive Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
Correspondence  Hae-Sung Nam ,Email: hsnam@cnu.ac.kr
Received: Jun 22, 2021  Accepted after revision: Sep 8, 2021
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
We examined the associations of individual and regional-level perceived stress and depression with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in Korean adults.
METHODS:
We used data from the 2017 Korea Community Health Survey, which included 216,713 adults living within 254 municipal districts. As individual-level independent variables, perceived stress (higher vs. lower) and depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 ≥10) were defined. Regional-level age-adjusted rates of perceived stress (%) and depression (%) were created for 254 municipal districts and categorized into quartiles to generate regional levels of stress and depression. HRQOL was defined as the individual-level EuroQol 5-dimensional index×100. A multilevel analysis was performed to identify the relationship between individual or regional-level independent variables and individual HRQOL.
RESULTS:
In the null model, the proportions of individual variation in the HRQOL explained by region were 1.7% and 2.7% for men and women, respectively. When adjusted with all individual-level variables, regional stress and depression, as well as individual-level perceived stress and depression, were significantly related to HRQOL for both genders. In the full model including all variables, the decrease in HRQOL from the first to the fourth quartile group of regional stress was greater in women (-1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.87 to -0.31) than in men (-0.65; 95% CI, -1.04 to -0.26).
CONCLUSIONS:
Our results suggest that regional-level perceived stress and depression, as well as individual-level perceived stress and depression, are inversely associated with individual HRQOL.
Keywords: Population health, Psychological distress, Depression, Multilevel analysis, Community


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