Korean J Fam Pract.  2021 Aug;11(4):296-303. 10.21215/kjfp.2021.11.4.296.

Factors Associated with Depression in Korean Young Adults: Analysis Based on the 2018 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Osan Hankook Hospital, Osan, Korea


Mental health promotion in young adults is as essential as physical health promotion. This study was performed to investigate the factors related to depression in adults aged 19–39 years.
This study included 1,620 adults aged 19–39 years from the Seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2018. Depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9); based on their scores, the subjects were classified into two groups. The chi-square test was performed to compare between-group differences. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between depression and associated factors.
The sample’s mean (±standard deviation) PHQ-9 score was 2.71±3.48 points. Weighted multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that perceived health status (odds ratio [OR], 3.179; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.168 to 3.189), sex (OR, 3.149; 95% CI, 3.139 to 3.159), unmet medical needs (OR, 1.990; 95% CI, 1.982 to 1.998), pain and discomfort (OR, 1.980; 95% CI, 1.973 to 1.986), and health screening (OR, 1.404; 95% CI, 1.400 to 1.408) were related to PHQ-9 score.
Various factors, especially those related to health, are associated with depression in young adults. Among these, perceived health status, unmet medical needs, pain and discomfort, and health screening are modifiable factors. As health promotion specialists, family physicians should consider these factors in mental health screening.


Depression; Young Adult; Mental Health; Health Promotion; Patient Health Questionnaire 9
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