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Nutritional factors, physical health and immigrant status are associated with anxiety disorders among middle-aged and older adults: findings from baseline data of the Canadian longitudinal study on aging (CLSA)

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nutrition, immigration, determinants of mental health, CLSA, anxiety disorders

Abstract (summary)

The main purpose of this study was to compare the lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders among foreign-born and Canadian-born adults in middle and later life. Using baseline data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (2010–2015), multivariable binary logistic regression was conducted to investigate anxiety diagnosis and immigrant status, while controlling for socio-economic, health-related, and nutrition covariates. Of 26,991 participants (49.3% men, 82.5% Canadian born, 58.5% aged 45–65 years), the overall prevalence of self-reported physician diagnosis of anxiety disorders was 8.5%, with immigrants being lower than Canadian-born respondents (6.4% vs. 9.3%, p < 0.001). After accounting for all covariates, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for anxiety disorders was lower among immigrants (aOR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67–0.88) compared to those who were Canadian born. Identified risk factors included: younger age (aORs = 1.79–3.52), being a woman (aOR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.07–1.46), single status (aOR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.09–1.48), lower income (aORs = 1.28–2.68), multi-morbidities (aORs = 2.73–5.13), chronic pain (aOR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.18–1.44), lifetime smoking ≥ 100 cigarettes (aOR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.23–1.48), BMI < 18.5 (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.20–2.92), body fat ≥ 26% (aORs = 1.28–1.79), fruit and vegetable intake (<3/day; aORs = 1.24–1.26), and pastry consumption (>1/day; aOR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.12–1.15) (p < 0.05). Targeting socio-economic and nutritional risk factors may reduce the burden of anxiety disorders in middle and late adulthood.

Publication Information

Davison, K., Lin, S., Tong, H. M., Kobayashi, K.M., Mora-Almanza, J. G. & Fuller-Thomson, E. (2020). Nutritional factors, physical health and immigrant status are associated with Anxiety Disorders among Middle-Aged and Older Adults: Findings from Baseline Data of The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5), 1493. DOI:


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Attribution (CC BY)