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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Study Confirms That Blacks and Latinos Are More Likely to Suffer From Stress and Depression -- But Here's Why!

African American woman depressed

Almost all research regarding depression in the United States concludes that minorities such as Blacks and Latinos are more likely to experience serious depression. A new study determines the reason for such disparities.
In a new study published in the May 2018 issue of Preventive Medicine, the same conclusion is made, African Americans and Latinos are at a higher risk to suffer from depression. But it does not count chronic stress as a significant reason.

The study examined the relationship between factors such as unhealthy behaviors, chronic stress, and risk of depression by race and ethnicity. Researchers used the data collected from 2005 to 2012 which included 12,272 participants who are 40 to 70 years old, in order to capture the effects of chronic stress over the lifetime of the participants.

"Understanding the social and behavioral complexities associated with depression and unhealthy behaviors by race/ethnicity can help us understand how to best improve overall health," said Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), who was the senior author of the study.

The study found that African Americans and Latinos had more chronic stress that is associated with social and economic inequalities brought about by race and ethnicity. They are also subject to more unhealthy behaviors such as cigarette smoking, excessive or binge drinking, insufficient exercise, and fair or poor diet. Thus, they have a higher risk for depression.

Meanwhile, it was discovered that unhealthy behaviors actually reduce the chance of depression due to chronic stress in African Americans. On the contrary, unhealthy behaviors increase depression risk for Latinos and Whites.

Furthermore, the study suggested more knowledge and understanding of the issue for more protection against depression.
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