Biodiversity and depressive symptoms in mexican adults: Exploration of beneficial environmental effects

Héctor Duarte-Tagles, Aarón Salinas-Rodríguez, Álvaro J. Idrovo, Alberto Búrquez, Víctor Corral-Verdugo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Depression is a highly prevalent illness among adults, and it is the second most frequently reported mental disorder in urban settings in México. Exposure to natural environments and its components may improve the mental health of the population. Objective: To evaluate the association between biodiversity indicators and the prevalence of depressive symptoms among the adult population (20 to 65 years of age) in México. Materials and methods: Information from the Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición 2006 (ENSANUT 2006) and the Compendio de Estadísticas Ambientales 2008 was analyzed. A biodiversity index was constructed based on the species richness and ecoregions in each state. A multilevel logistic regression model was built with random intercepts and a multiple logistic regression was generated with clustering by state. Results: The factors associated with depressive symptoms were being female, self-perceived as indigenous, lower education level, not living with a partner, lack of steady paid work, having a chronic illness and drinking alcohol. The biodiversity index was found to be inversely associated with the prevalence of depressive symptoms when defined as a continuous variable, and the results from the regression were grouped by state (OR=0.71; 95% CI = 0.59-0.87). Conclusions: Although the design was cross-sectional, this study adds to the evidence of the potential benefits to mental health from contact with nature and its components.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


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