Modifiable risk factors for depressed mood among farmers

Obiora E. Onwuameze, Sergio Paradiso, Corinne Peek-Asa, Kelley J. Donham, Risto H. Rautiainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Risk for depression among farmers is not fully understood. DSM-IV considers sadness or depressed mood a critical symptom of depression. The aim of this study was to examine risk factors for depressed mood among farmers using a longitudinal study design. METHODS: Participants were principal farm operators in the Iowa Certified Safe Farm study. We identified risk factors for depressed mood by calculating relative risks (RR) using the generalized estimating equations method. RESULTS: In the multivariate model, pesticide exposure (RR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.53), having an additional job off the farm (RR = 1.32; 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.62), stress (RR = 3.09; 95% CI: 2.55 to 3.75), and previous injury (RR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.89) prospectively increased the risk of depressed mood. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with earlier non-longitudinal studies, the results of this study suggest that reducing pesticide exposure, stress, and injury may reduce the risk of depression in the farm setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Depression
  • Farming
  • Orthophosphates
  • Pesticides
  • Serotonin
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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