Prevalence of depressive symptoms in New Mexico Hispanic and non-Hispanic white elderly

Linda J. Romero, Irene E. Ortiz, M. Rosina Finley, Sharon Wayne, Robert D. Lindeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence rates, risk factors, and pattern of depressive symptoms in elderly Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs). Methods: This survey was a community-based, cross-sectional survey of randomly selected Medicare recipients living in Bernalillo County (Albuquerque, New Mexico). The survey's objective was to examine the health and health-related issues of Hispanic and NHW elderly persons (≥65 years of age). As part of the survey, participants were administered the Geriatric Depression Scale-short form (GDS). Results: Complete data were available on 798 subjects with a mean age of 73.7 years, age range 65-96. The prevalence of a GDS score ≥6 was: Hispanic males, 9.5%; Hispanic females, 19.2%; NHW males, 5.4%; and NHW females, 8.7%. Hispanics (P=.001) and women (P=.003) had higher prevalence rates. Sociodemographic variables, health, social support, and the activities of daily living (ADLs) were significantly related to symptoms. English skills (P<.0001) and birthplace (P=.011) were associated with symptoms in Hispanics. Significant differences were found in the response patterns between Hispanics and NHWs. Logistic regression analyses showed that ethnic differences were largely explained by differences in the level of education and income among Hispanics and NHWs. Conclusion: A difference was seen in the prevalence rates of depressive symptoms between Hispanic and NHW elderly persons and between men and women. In addition to the traditional risk factors for depressive symptoms, we found that ethnic differences in prevalence rates can be largely explained by education and income differences in the two groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Depression
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Elderly
  • Hispanic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of depressive symptoms in New Mexico Hispanic and non-Hispanic white elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this