Depressive symptoms, behavioral health risk factors, and physical illness among older Mexican Americans



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This study utilized data from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) at two different time points, seven years apart, to examine the relationship between physical illness and depressive symptoms in elderly Mexican Americans. The two physical illnesses studied are coronary artery disease and type II diabetes due to their high prevalence among Mexican Americans. The relationship between physical illness and depressive symptoms is examined longitudinally and prospectively, in both directions. In addition, the relationship between depressive symptoms and three behavioral health risk factors: alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and physical inactivity, at baseline is examined. The roles of gender, acculturation, nativity, and locus of control are examined as moderators of the key relationships studied. Additionally, self-rated health at baseline is examined as a predictor of physical illness and mortality at follow-up.