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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Dec 1;152(11):1048-55.

Depressive symptoms in Hispanic and non-Hispanic White rural elderly: the San Luis Valley Health and Aging Study.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA.


Literature on depression in rural and Hispanic elderly adults is sparse. This report describes the prevalence of depressive symptoms in 1,151 community-dwelling, Hispanic and non-Hispanic White participants in the San Luis Valley Health and Aging Study, conducted in rural Colorado during 1993-1995. The prevalence and odds ratios of high depressive symptoms, defined as a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score of > or = 16, were calculated. The crude prevalence of high depressive symptoms was 11.4% (95% confidence interval: 9.6, 13.6). Female gender, chronic diseases, dissatisfaction with social support, living alone, and lower income and education were associated with depressive symptoms. There were no ethnic differences in the men. The age-adjusted odds ratio of depressive symptoms in Hispanic women compared with that of non-Hispanic White women was 2.11 (95% confidence interval: 1.32, 3.38). After adjustment for multiple sociodemographic and health risk factors, the odds ratio in Hispanic women was 2.12 (95% confidence interval: 1.19, 3.80). Higher depressive symptoms in Hispanic women varied by acculturation level. The odds ratio in the high acculturation stratum was 1.56 (95% confidence interval: 0.75, 3.27) and in the low acculturation stratum was 2.51 (95% confidence interval: 1.11, 5.70). A lower acculturation level may increase the risk for depression in older Hispanic women.

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