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Original article Association of plain water intake with self-reported depression and suicidality among Korean adolescents
Jung Woo Lee2orcid , Yookyung Kim1orcid
Epidemiol Health 2024;e2024019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024019 [Accepted]
Published online: January 9, 2024
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1Department of Home Economics Education, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2BK21 Four Research & Education Center for Sustainable Living System, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author:  Yookyung Kim,
Email: yookyung_kim@korea.ac.kr
Received: 9 June 2023   • Revised: 27 December 2023   • Accepted: 28 December 2023

OBJECTIVES
Adolescent depression and suicidality are serious health problems worldwide. Lower plain water intake has been proposed as a risk factor for depression in adults. This study investigated the association of daily plain water intake with self-reported depression and suicidality among Korean adolescents.
METHODS
We used nationwide data from 112,250 students aged 12-18 years who participated in the Korean Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Surveys in 2019 and 2020. Daily plain water intake was categorized as <1, 1-2, and ≥3 glasses. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for self-reported depression and suicidality were calculated using multiple regression analyses.
RESULTS
The weighted prevalence rates of self-reported depression, suicidal ideation, suicide planning, and suicide attempts were 26.7%, 12.0%, 3.8%, and 2.5%, respectively. Of the participants, 3.9%, 18.5%, and 77.7% were categorized into the <1, 1-2, and ≥3 glasses/day groups, respectively. Compared to the reference group (≥3 glasses/day), the lowest level of water intake (<1 glass/day) was associated with higher odds of self-reported depression (AOR=1.30; 95% CI, 1.20-1.39), suicidal ideation (AOR=1.39; 95% CI, 1.27-1.55), suicide planning (AOR=1.46; 95% CI, 1.25-1.69), and suicide attempts (AOR=1.38; 95% CI, 1.15-1.67). Moderately lower water intake (1-2 glasses/day) showed slightly increased odds of self-reported depression (AOR=1.05; 95% CI, 1.01-1.10) and suicidal ideation (AOR=1.08; 95% CI, 1.03-1.14).
CONCLUSIONS
Lower plain water intake was significantly associated with a higher risk of self-reported depression and suicidality among Korean adolescents. Since this cross-sectional study is unable to establish a causal relationship, it underscores the need for additional longitudinal research.


Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health