African American men report lower levels of depressive symptoms that their white peers in national data. However, the value of these studies is often undermined by data that confound race, socioeconomic status, and segregation. We sought to determine whether race differences in depressive symptoms were present after minimizing the effects of socioeconomic status and segregation within a cohort of southwest Baltimore (SWB) men using the data from the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities (EHDIC), a novel study of racial disparities within communities where African American and non-Hispanic white males live together and have similar median incomes. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire, a standard instrument for assessing mental disorders, we categorized participants as experiencing depressive symptoms (including depressive syndrome and major depression) or not experiencing depressive symptoms. Logistic regression was performed to examine the association between depressive symptoms and race in EHDIC-SWB, adjusting for age, marital status, income, education, insurance, physical inactivity, current smoking or drinking status, poor/fair health, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Of the 628 study participants, 12.6% of white men and 8.6% of African American men reported depressive symptoms. African American males had similar odds of reporting depressive symptoms (odds ratio = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = 0.34-1.11) as compared with white men. Within this low-income urban racially integrated community, race differences in depressive symptoms among men were not observed. This finding suggests that social and environmental conditions may impact the race differences in depressive symptoms.
- depressive symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health