A Cultured Man is a Healthier, Happier Man: Study

Patterns of receptive and creative cultural activities and their association with perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life among adults: the HUNT study, Norway. Background; Cultural participation has been used both in governmental health policies and as medical therapy, based on the assumption that cultural activities will improve health. Previous population studies and a human intervention study have shown that religious, social and cultural activities predict increased survival rate. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between cultural activity and perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life in both genders. Methods; The study is based on the third population-based Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (2006–2008), including 50 797 adult participants from Nord-Trøndelag County, Norway. Data on cultural activities, both receptive and creative, perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life were collected by comprehensive questionnaires. Results; The logistic regression models, adjusted for relevant cofactors, show that participation in receptive and creative cultural activities was significantly associated with good health, good satisfaction with life, low

anxiety and depression scores in both genders. Especially in men, attending receptive, rather than creative, cultural activities was more strongly associated with all health-related outcomes. Statistically significant associations between several single receptive, creative cultural activities and the health-related outcome variables were revealed.Conclusion; This population-based study suggests gender-dependent associations between cultural participation and perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life. The results support hypotheses on the effect of cultural activities in health promotion and healthcare, but further longitudinal and experimental studies are warranted to establish a reliable cause–effect relationship. Authors: Koenraad Cuypers, Steinar Krokstad, Turid Lingaas Holmen, Margunn Skjei Knudtsen, Lars Olov Bygren, Jostein Holmen. – The Nord-Trøndelag health study (HUNT) is one of the largest health studies ever performed. It is a unique database of personal and family medical histories collected during three intensive studies. The fundamental strategy is to earn and maintain the confidence of the population we work in and with as is necessary for any successful population study. This strategy has been successful and has resulted in extraordinarily high participation rates. There is enthusiastic public and political support for HUNT and of the HUNT Research Centre. This has created a good basis for further health surveys in the county and an excellent research environment. HUNT 1 was carried out in 1984-1986 to establish the health history of 75,000 people. HUNT 2, carried out in 1995-1997, focused on the evolution of the health history of 74,000 people. This included blood sample collection from 65,000 people. The data that accompany biospecimens in the biobank are stored in secured computer

systems that run complex database management and analysis software.HUNT 3 was completed in June 2008. 93,210 people were invited to participate in the study, and as of the 6th of June, 2008, 48,289 people participated (52% participation rate). The data, collected by means of questionnaires, interviews, clinical examinations and collection of blood and urine samples, will be ready for analysis in January 2009. HUNT collaborates with national and international research groups on some of the important health topics facing our world today using the most modern techniques and our state of the art biobank. Today, HUNT is a database with information about approximately 120,000 people that integrates family data and individual data and can be linked to national health registries.Repeated examinations and follow-up of the same population make it possible to ascertain changes in health and vital status at individual and family levels.The HUNT study is reinforced and supplemented by cross referencing with registries at the regional level (Registries such as radial and hip fractures, venous thrombosis, lung embolism, ischemic heart disease and stroke) and with registries at the national level (The Cancer Register, The Medical Birth Register, and The National Health Insurance Register). Additionally, Statistics Norway provides necessary information from The Population Census Register and The Family Register to create a genealogical database (“family trees”). Correspondence to: Koenraad Cuypers.  Sources: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.  jech.bmj.com & Nord-Trøndelag Health Study Research Center, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. ntnu.edu

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