Depression is Associated with Increased Risk for Metabolic Syndrome in Latinos with Type 2 Diabetes

Veronica Cardenas, Brent T. Mausbach, David Sommerfeld, Daniel Jimenez, Roland von Känel, Jennifer S. Ho, Piedad Garcia, Gregory A. Aarons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective Latino adults are 66% more likely to have diabetes relative to non-Latino white adults. Prior research identifies depression as a significant risk factor for metabolic syndrome (MetS), but research examining this among Latinos is lacking. This study sought to examine the links between depression and MetS and clinically significant elevations in cardiovascular disease risk markers of MetS in a sample of community-dwelling older Latinos with type 2 diabetes. Methods Participants were 332 community-dwelling older (≥60 years) Latinos with type 2 diabetes who completed the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire and received a health checkup assessing body mass index (BMI), triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Logistic regression analysis compared MetS rates of those meeting criteria for depression with those who did not. Secondary analyses examined the associations between depression and individual MetS components. All analyses controlled for demographic (e.g., income, age) and other potential MetS risk factors (e.g., smoking status, physical activity, alcohol level consumption). Results Depression was significantly associated with an increased risk of MetS (OR: 5.79; 95% CI: 1.32–25.42) and clinically significant elevations in triglycerides (OR: 2.71; 95% CI: 1.15–6.42) and reduced (HDL) cholesterol (OR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.11–5.45). A significant association was not observed between depression and either BMI or hypertension. Conclusion Depression is significantly linked to MetS, and most notably dyslipidemia, in older Latinos with diabetes. Causation, however, cannot be inferred from these analyses given the cross-sectional nature of the study. Future research should prospectively examine the directionality of this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-653
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Latino
  • cardiovascular disease risk
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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