Background: Increasing educational level of the population could be a strategy to prevent depression. We investigated whether education may offer a greater benefit for mental health to women and to individuals living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study using data on 6964 Czech participants of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial factors in Eastern Europe study (on average 58 years old; 53% women). Binary logistic regression was used to examine the association of education with depressive symptoms, adjusting for several groups of covariates. Interactions were tested between education and sex as well as between education and socioeconomic advantage of the area of residence. Results: Higher education was strongly associated with lower odds of depressive symptoms, independently of sociodemographic characteristics, health behavior and somatic diseases. This association was attenuated after adjusting for other markers of individual socioeconomic position (work activity, material deprivation and household items). There were no interactions between education and either sex or socioeconomic advantage of the area of residence. Conclusions: We did not find an independent association between education and depressive symptoms after controlling for other socioeconomic markers in a sample with a formative history of communistic ideologies. Women or individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas do not seem to gain a larger mental health benefit from education.,
European Journal of Public Health
Department of Public Health

Cermakova, P., Pikhart, H., Kubinova, R., & Bobak, M. (2020). Education as inefficient resource against depressive symptoms in the Czech Republic: Cross-sectional analysis of the HAPIEE study. European Journal of Public Health, 30(5), 948–952. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckaa059