Perceived Discrimination and Elevated BMI Increase Symptoms of Depression in African American Mothers
The lack of economic and social resources, combined with other environmental stressors, such as discrimination, can heighten the risk for depression and cardiovascular disease, especially among racial and ethnic minority populations. However, the association between symptoms of depression and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, such as elevated body mass index (BMI), is uncertain for African American mothers. A recent study, supported in part by NINR, examined the relationships among multiple social determinants of health (e.g., income, education, and discrimination), cardiovascular risk (BMI and smoking), and depressive symptoms in a sample of young African American mothers. The findings suggest that perceived discrimination and elevated BMI are associated with higher reported symptoms of depression among young, socioeconomically disadvantaged African American mothers. This study suggests that CVD prevention should include screening for depression and perceptions of discrimination, as well as creating a treatment plan to address any positive findings.
Millender E, Barile JP, R Bagneris J, Harris RM, De Faria L, Wong FY, Crusto CA, Taylor JY. Associations between social determinants of health, perceived discrimination, and body mass index on symptoms of depression among young African American mothers. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2021 Feb;35(1):94-101. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2020.09.014. Epub 2020 Nov 25. PMID: 33593522