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A comparison of the frequencies of risk factors for depression in older black and white participants in a study of indicated prevention

  • Roy Sriwattanakomen (a1), Jesse McPherron (a2), Jamie Chatman (a1), Jennifer Q. Morse (a3), Lynn M. Martire (a3), Jordan F. Karp (a3), Patricia R. Houck (a3), Salem Bensasi (a3), Jill Houle (a3), Jacqueline A. Stack (a3), Mattie Woods (a4), Bruce Block (a3), Stephen B. Thomas (a1), Sandra Quinn (a1) and Charles F. Reynolds (a3)...

Background: To compare the frequencies of risk factors, we describe risks for depression as a function of race among consecutively admitted participants in a randomized clinical trial of indicated depression prevention in later life.

Methods: Seventy-two black and 143 white participants were screened for risk factors for depression.

Results: Black participants were more likely to have fewer years of education and lower household income. They were more likely to be obese, live alone, experience functional disability, have a history of alcohol and drug abuse, and have lower scores on the Mini-mental State Examination and the Executive Interview (EXIT). White participants were not found to have greater prevalence or higher mean score on any risk factor. On average, black participants experienced approximately one more risk factor than white participants (t(213) = 3.32, p = 0.0011).

Conclusions: In our sample, black participants had higher frequencies of eight risk factors for depression and a greater mean number of risk factors compared to white participants.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D.; Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara Street; Pittsburgh, PA 15213, U.S.A. Phone: +1 412-246-6414; Fax: +1 412-246-5300. Email:
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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
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