Physical and Mental Health Among Mexican American Children and Adolescents Living On The Texas-Mexico Border



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Objective: The study aimed to i)describe the cohort characteristic and examine how the family socioeconomic status, family education level and social and cultural environment factors affect the development of mental health problems; ii)examine how the individual and household characteristics affect the development of overweight/obesity; iii)examine the impact of pubertal stage and overweight/obesity on the cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRF) of Mexican American children living on the Texas-Mexico border. Methods: This study involved children (8 to 18 years old) enrolled in Cameron County Hispanic Cohort from 2014-2020. The main statistical analytical plan involved building multivariable models aligned with the three aims: i) logistic regression model to determine the association between the social environmental factors and the risk of developing depression, (ii) hierarchical multilevel model to assess the association of being overweight/obese with individual and household level factors, (iii) multivariable regression models to assess the impact of pubertal stage and weight status on individual/clustering of CMRF. Results: About 10% of the children enrolled in CCHC were depressed, 52% were overweight/obese, and 63.1% had at least one CMRF. Individuals with higher childhood trauma score (OR=1.08, 95% CI 1.03 – 1.12) and had more stressful life events (OR=1.15, 95%CI 1.08-1.23) had a higher risk of developing depression. Every unit increase in parents’ BMI was associated with 7% higher odds of their child being overweight/obese (OR=1.07, 95%CI 1.02-1.12). Children from higher-income households were 1.8 times more likely to be overweight/obese than those from lower-income households (OR=1.80, 95% CI 1.02-3.08). Pubertal stage was associated with hypertriglyceridemia, insulin resistance (IR), and clustering of CMRF. Being overweight/obese were associated with 45 times the odds of high central adiposity (OR=45.04 95%CI 15.47-131.09), 4.77 times higher odds of hypertriglyceridemia (OR=4.77 95%CI 2.77-8.22), 7.59 times higher odds of low HDL-C (OR=7.59 95%CI 3.75-15.34) and 6.41 times higher odds of IR (OR=6.41 95%CI 3.8-10.9). Conclusions: The rate of depression, overweight/obesity, and CMRF were high. The risk of depression was positively associated with childhood trauma and stressful life events. Boys, children from higher household income, and those with parents with higher BMI had higher odds of being overweight/obese. Tanner stage, being overweight/obese and the presence of depression/anxiety were associated with CMRF.



Mexican American children, overweight/obesity, depression, cardiometabolic risk factors