Does the weather make us sad? Meteorological determinants of mood and depression in the general population

M.J.H. Huibers, L.E. de Graaf, F.P.M.L. Peeters, A.R. Arntz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is a common and well-spread belief that people feel more depressed when the weather is bad. However, whether meteorological factors such as temperature, sunshine and rainfall can actually account for variations in the prevalence of depression in the general population has yet to be investigated. We aimed to assess the influence of weather conditions on the seasonal variation of depression observed in the general population. We used data from a large-scale depression-screening programme in the south of the Netherlands. Seasonal prevalence of DSM-IV classified major depression and sad mood in a sample of 14,478 participants from the general population was calculated, and linked to mean daily temperature, duration of sunshine and duration of rainfall in logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of major depression and sad mood showed seasonal variation, with peaks in the summer and fall. Weather conditions were not associated with mood, and did not explain the seasonal variation we found. We conclude that, contrary to popular belief, weather conditions and sad mood or depression do not seem to be associated. Future studies might use daily measures of well-being as outcome. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume180
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Seasonal prevalence
  • Meteorological factors
  • General population study
  • SEASONAL AFFECTIVE-DISORDER
  • TEMPERATURE
  • PREVALENCE
  • ANXIETY
  • CLIMATE
  • HEALTH

Cite this

@article{adf4f41298f446f49a22a6ce473a30bf,
title = "Does the weather make us sad? Meteorological determinants of mood and depression in the general population",
abstract = "It is a common and well-spread belief that people feel more depressed when the weather is bad. However, whether meteorological factors such as temperature, sunshine and rainfall can actually account for variations in the prevalence of depression in the general population has yet to be investigated. We aimed to assess the influence of weather conditions on the seasonal variation of depression observed in the general population. We used data from a large-scale depression-screening programme in the south of the Netherlands. Seasonal prevalence of DSM-IV classified major depression and sad mood in a sample of 14,478 participants from the general population was calculated, and linked to mean daily temperature, duration of sunshine and duration of rainfall in logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of major depression and sad mood showed seasonal variation, with peaks in the summer and fall. Weather conditions were not associated with mood, and did not explain the seasonal variation we found. We conclude that, contrary to popular belief, weather conditions and sad mood or depression do not seem to be associated. Future studies might use daily measures of well-being as outcome. ",
keywords = "Depression, Seasonal prevalence, Meteorological factors, General population study, SEASONAL AFFECTIVE-DISORDER, TEMPERATURE, PREVALENCE, ANXIETY, CLIMATE, HEALTH",
author = "M.J.H. Huibers and {de Graaf}, L.E. and F.P.M.L. Peeters and A.R. Arntz",
year = "2010",
month = "12",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1016/j.psychres.2009.09.016",
language = "English",
volume = "180",
pages = "143--146",
journal = "Psychiatry Research",
issn = "0165-1781",
publisher = "Elsevier Ireland Ltd",
number = "2-3",

}

Does the weather make us sad? Meteorological determinants of mood and depression in the general population. / Huibers, M.J.H.; de Graaf, L.E.; Peeters, F.P.M.L.; Arntz, A.R.

In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 180, No. 2-3, 30.12.2010, p. 143-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does the weather make us sad? Meteorological determinants of mood and depression in the general population

AU - Huibers, M.J.H.

AU - de Graaf, L.E.

AU - Peeters, F.P.M.L.

AU - Arntz, A.R.

PY - 2010/12/30

Y1 - 2010/12/30

N2 - It is a common and well-spread belief that people feel more depressed when the weather is bad. However, whether meteorological factors such as temperature, sunshine and rainfall can actually account for variations in the prevalence of depression in the general population has yet to be investigated. We aimed to assess the influence of weather conditions on the seasonal variation of depression observed in the general population. We used data from a large-scale depression-screening programme in the south of the Netherlands. Seasonal prevalence of DSM-IV classified major depression and sad mood in a sample of 14,478 participants from the general population was calculated, and linked to mean daily temperature, duration of sunshine and duration of rainfall in logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of major depression and sad mood showed seasonal variation, with peaks in the summer and fall. Weather conditions were not associated with mood, and did not explain the seasonal variation we found. We conclude that, contrary to popular belief, weather conditions and sad mood or depression do not seem to be associated. Future studies might use daily measures of well-being as outcome. 

AB - It is a common and well-spread belief that people feel more depressed when the weather is bad. However, whether meteorological factors such as temperature, sunshine and rainfall can actually account for variations in the prevalence of depression in the general population has yet to be investigated. We aimed to assess the influence of weather conditions on the seasonal variation of depression observed in the general population. We used data from a large-scale depression-screening programme in the south of the Netherlands. Seasonal prevalence of DSM-IV classified major depression and sad mood in a sample of 14,478 participants from the general population was calculated, and linked to mean daily temperature, duration of sunshine and duration of rainfall in logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of major depression and sad mood showed seasonal variation, with peaks in the summer and fall. Weather conditions were not associated with mood, and did not explain the seasonal variation we found. We conclude that, contrary to popular belief, weather conditions and sad mood or depression do not seem to be associated. Future studies might use daily measures of well-being as outcome. 

KW - Depression

KW - Seasonal prevalence

KW - Meteorological factors

KW - General population study

KW - SEASONAL AFFECTIVE-DISORDER

KW - TEMPERATURE

KW - PREVALENCE

KW - ANXIETY

KW - CLIMATE

KW - HEALTH

U2 - 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.09.016

DO - 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.09.016

M3 - Article

VL - 180

SP - 143

EP - 146

JO - Psychiatry Research

JF - Psychiatry Research

SN - 0165-1781

IS - 2-3

ER -