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Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms Among Middle-Aged Women: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (Swan)

Publication Abstract

Bromberger, J.T., Sioban D. Harlow, N. Avis, H.M. Kravitz, and A. Cordal. 2004. "Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms Among Middle-Aged Women: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (Swan)." American Journal of Public Health, 94(8): 1378-1385.

Objectives. We examined racial/ethnic differences in significant depressive symptoms among middle-aged women before and after adjustment for socioeconomic, health-related, and psychosocial characteristics. Methods. Racial/ethnic differences in unadjusted and adjusted prevalence of significant depressive symptoms (score 16 on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression [CES-D] Scale) were assessed with univariate and multiple logistic regressions. Results. Twenty-four percent of the sample had a CES-D score of 16 or higher. Unadjusted prevalence varied by race/ethnicity (P < .0001). After adjustment for covariates, racial/ethnic differences overall were no longer significant. Conclusions. Hispanic and African American women had the highest odds, and Chinese and Japanese women had the lowest odds, for a CES-D score of 16 or higher. This variation is in part because of health-related and psychosocial factors that are linked to socioeconomic status.

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