Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 1641–1656 | Cite as

Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Robin Richardson
  • Tracy Westley
  • Geneviève Gariépy
  • Nichole Austin
  • Arijit Nandi
Review

Abstract

Purpose

The evidence linking neighborhood socioeconomic conditions (NSEC) with depression is mixed. We performed a systematic review of this literature, including a rigorous quality assessment that was used to explore if methodological or contextual factors explained heterogeneity across studies.

Methods

A systematic literature search in three databases identified longitudinal studies among adolescents and adults living in high-income countries. Two independent reviewers screened studies for inclusion and performed data abstraction. We conducted a formal quality assessment and investigated sources of study heterogeneity.

Results

Our database search identified 3711 articles, 84 of which were determined to be potentially relevant, and 14 articles were included in this review. About half of the studies found a significant association between NSEC and depression, and pooled estimates suggest poorer socioeconomic conditions were associated with higher odds of depression (OR = 1.14, 95 % CI 1.01, 1.28). Study results varied by follow-up time. Among studies with less than 5 years of follow-up, there was a significant association between NSEC and depression (OR = 1.28, 95 % CI 1.13, 1.44), although pooling of study results may not be warranted due to heterogeneity across studies. Among studies with at least 5 years of follow-up, which were homogeneous, there was no association (OR = 1.00, 95 % CI 0.95, 1.06) between NSEC and depression.

Conclusions

We found inconsistent evidence in support of a longitudinal association between NSEC and depression, and heterogeneity according to the length of follow-up time might partly explain the mixed evidence observed in the literature on NSEC and depression.

Keywords

Depression Depressive symptoms Neighborhood environment Socioeconomic deprivation Systematic review 

Supplementary material

127_2015_1092_MOESM1_ESM.docx (82 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 82 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Richardson
    • 1
  • Tracy Westley
    • 1
  • Geneviève Gariépy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nichole Austin
    • 1
  • Arijit Nandi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational HealthMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Health and Social PolicyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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