Does physical activity reduce the risk of psychosis? A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies

Luisa Leonie Brokmeier, Joseph Firth, Davy Vancampfort, Lee Smith, Jeroen Deenik, Simon Rosenbaum, Brendon Stubbs, Felipe Barreto Schuch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Longitudinal prospective cohorts have suggested that physical activity (PA) may be a protective factor against psychosis and schizophrenia. However, no meta-analysis has been conducted. The study aims to examine the prospective relationship between PA and incident psychosis/schizophrenia. Major databases were searched from inception to July 2019 for prospective studies that calculated the odds ratio (OR) or the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of incident psychosis/schizophrenia in people with higher PA against people with lower PA. Methodological quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). A random-effects meta-analysis was conducted, for OR and AOR, separately. Across 4 cohorts (N = 30,025 median males = 50%, median follow-up = 32 years), people with high self-reported PA (versus low PA) were at reduced odds of developing psychosis/schizophrenia (OR = 0.73, 95%CI 0.532 to 0.995, p = 0.047). Analysis including 2 cohorts presenting AOR were not statistically significant (AOR = 0.59, 95%CI 0.253 to 1.383, p = 0.226). Overall study quality was high (mean NOS = 7.0). The literature on the topic is scarce, whilst crude analysis suggests that PA may be a protective factor against the emergence of psychosis/schizophrenia, but when adjusting for covariates, the association is no longer significant. Further studies with objective physical activity and adjustment for confounders are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112675
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume284
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Protective
  • Risk factor
  • Longitudinal
  • incidence
  • MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER
  • SEVERE MENTAL-ILLNESS
  • BIPOLAR DISORDER
  • CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • PEOPLE
  • EXERCISE

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