The prevalence of diabetes is alarmingly high among Mexican American adults residing near the U.S.-Mexico border. Depression is also common among Mexican Americans with diabetes, and may have a negative influence on diabetes management. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the associations of depression and anxiety with the behavioral management of diabetes and glycemic control among Mexican American adults living near the border.
The characteristics of Mexican Americans with diabetes living in Brownsville, TX (N = 492) were compared by depression/anxiety status. Linear regression models were conducted to evaluate the associations of depression and anxiety with BMI, waist circumference, physical activity, fasting glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
Participants with clinically significant depression and/or anxiety were of greater age, predominantly female, less educated, more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes, and more likely to be taking diabetes medications than those without depression or anxiety. In addition, anxious participants were more likely than those without anxiety to have been born in Mexico and to prefer study assessments in Spanish rather than English. Greater depression and anxiety were associated with poorer behavioral management of diabetes (i.e., greater BMI and waist circumference; engaging in less physical activity) and poorer glycemic control (i.e., higher fasting glucose, HbA1c).
Overall, depression and anxiety appear to be linked with poorer behavioral management of diabetes and glycemic control. Findings highlight the need for comprehensive interventions along the border which target depression and anxiety in conjunction with diabetes management.