This study examined the prospective role of urinary sodium and potassiumexcretion in depressive symptoms among urban, low-income adolescents, and whether these relationships vary by gender. A total of 84 urbanadolescents (mean age 13.36 years; 50% male; 95% African American) self-reported on their depressive symptoms at baseline and 1.5 years later. At baseline, the youth also completed a 12-h (overnight) urine collection at home which was used to measure sodium and potassiumexcretion.
After adjusting for baseline depressive symptoms, age, BMI percentile, and pubertal development, greater sodiumexcretion and lower potassiumexcretion predicted more severe depressive symptoms at follow-up, with no significant gender differences.
The results suggest that consumption of foods high in sodium and low in potassium contributes to the development of depressive symptoms in early adolescence, and that diet is a modifiable risk factor for adolescent depression. Interventions focusing on diet may improve mental health in urbanadolescents.
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