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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Prevalence and Correlates of Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation Among Adults in the United States, 2017-2020 Pre-Pandemic

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posted on 2023-11-20, 11:11 authored by Nan Wang, Xinyi Yan, Kellie Imm, Tianlin Xu, Shuang Li, Julia Gawronska, Ruixuan Wang, Lee Smith, Lin Yang, Chao Cao

Background: This study aims to estimate the pre-COVID-19 pandemic prevalence of mild, major depressive symptoms, and suicide ideation among U.S. adults and evaluate their correlates and racial/ethnic disparities.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of adults ≥20 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study 2017–2020 Pre-Pandemic. Overall and racial/ethnic-specific weighted prevalence and 95%CI of mild and major depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression modelings were used to examine overall and racial/ethnic-specific correlates.

Results: Data on 7917 US adults (Weighted N = 210,200,829; 51.8 % females) were analyzed. The prevalence of mild, major depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation was 8.5 %, 16.5 %, and 3.2 %, respectively. Overall, consistent correlates for all three conditions included smoking, short/long sleep duration, and obesity. Females, non-Hispanic Blacks, low family-poverty-income ratio, prolonged sitting time, and a history of cardiovascular disease were consistent correlates for mild and major depressive symptoms. Younger age, never married/living without a partner, physical inactivity, drinking alcohol, and a history of diabetes were related to major depressive symptoms. Never married/living without a partner and having a low family-poverty-income ratio correlate with suicide ideation. Having cancer diagnosis was only negatively associated with major depressive symptoms in non-Hispanic Blacks. Females, current smoking, short/long sleep duration, and having cardiovascular disease were correlated with suicidal ideation among Hispanics.

Conclusions: The prevalence of mild, major depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation were high among U.S. adults. Unique correlates were identified among different racial and ethnic groups.



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Journal of Affective Disorders





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