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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 908536, 10 pages
Research Article

Health-Related Conditions and Depression in Elderly Mexican American and Non-Hispanic White Residents of a United States-Mexico Border County: Moderating Effects of Educational Attainment

1Department of Psychiatry, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX 79905, USA
2Department of Psychiatry and Center for Excellence in Neurosciences, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX 79905, USA

Received 17 March 2011; Revised 12 May 2011; Accepted 20 June 2011

Academic Editor: Richard Van Dorn

Copyright © 2011 David F. Briones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the prevalence of “high” levels of depressive symptomatology and 13 health-related medical conditions in elderly Mexican American (MA) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) residents of El Paso County, Texas. We analyzed the extent to which depressive symptoms in this population are associated with these conditions. Elderly MA residents possessed a higher prevalence of current depression, a relatively unique health-related condition profile, and were more likely to experience a set of conditions that impede participation in daily life—conditions that we found to be strongly associated with high depressive symptomatology in the elderly. After adjusting for educational attainment, using multiple regression analyses, depression was not associated with ethnicity and only six of the health related conditions showed significant differences between MA and NHW subjects. We believe these results provide an important insight into the mechanism of health-related conditions and depressive symptomatology in a large sample of elderly MAs; and how conditions typically attributed to MA ethnicity may in actuality be an artifact of socioeconomic status variables such as educational-attainment.