Diabetes in Latinas : Depression, Metabolic Control, and the Roles of Acculturation and Social Support




Olvera, Anna E.

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Diabetes is steadily becoming an epidemic among Latinos. This study sought to more fully understand the rarely studied population of Latinas with diabetes and the associations between and among diabetes, depression, social support, metabolic control and acculturation. Ninety-six participants from a large publicly funded teaching hospital's community clinic took part in a brief interview that involved demographic questions, a depression screening toll, a measure for Latino and non-Latino acculturation, and a measure to assess perceived social support. The participants agreed to share their most recent metabolic blood sugar reading. The results demonstrated high levels of depression in the urban Latina with diabetes. A high number of the participants met the criteria for likely depression (32.3%). A one-tailed Pearson correlation yielded a strong significant relationship between perceived social support and depression (r = -0.63, p = 0.00). Additionally, CES-D and a recent HbA1c reading (within six months of the interview) were determined to be significantly related (r(N = 80) = 0.20, p = .03). Exposure to U.S. culture measured in years correlated significantly with diagnosis of depression by a medical professional (rs = 0.22, p = 0.04). There was an additional finding that years of living with diabetes was significantly correlated with being considered depressed (CES-D score = 24; [rs = 0.23, p = 0.03]). These and other findings support possible interventions to improve the quality of health for Latinas at an urban publicly funded clinic.

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