Examining the Relationship between Socio-demographic factors, Perception of Health, and Physical Activity among Hispanics with Comorbid Diabetes and Depression
Leal, Roberta M.
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With the increasing changes to healthcare administration in the United States, to deny the significance of comorbid medical and mental health conditions among the Hispanic population would be detrimental to public health systems. With the “browning and graying” of the US population, attention must be focused on behavioral health issues as they relate to comorbid conditions affecting minority groups. The Hispanic population is the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and approximately 2.5 million Hispanic adults in the US have been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes). Depression affects roughly 30% of Hispanics with diabetes when compared to 7-8% of Hispanics without diabetes. Individuals with comorbid diabetes and depression generally have poor treatment adherence which makes their diagnosis a major public health problem. Individual perception of health and level of depressive symptoms are important factors that affect whether or not a person will adhere to their treatment plan. Level of physical activity, identified in the research as key for the treatment of diabetes and depression, is proven here to be an effective way to link treatment outcomes for the two chronic conditions to improve health outcomes. This study aims to estimate the comorbidity rate of diabetes and depression among Hispanics and examine the association among socio-demographic factors (age, gender, education, and income), perception of health, nativity, and levels of physical activity among Hispanics with comorbid diabetes and depression. It is based on secondary data analyses from the NESARC sample. Results from the study have significant implications for health-care professionals and social-service deliverers who practice with Hispanics. Analyses from this study will potentially determine the likelihood that a Hispanic adult with comorbid diabetes and depression will adhere to his/her treatment plan. Future research and policy related to public health, community development, and medical interventions should take into account comorbidity of diabetes and depression as they relate to behavior health treatment and outcomes.