Factors associated with antidepressant use among low-income racially and ethnically diverse patients with type 2 diabetes

Caroline A. Presley, Richard O White, Aihua Bian, Jonathan S. Schildcrout, Russell L. Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Depression is common in patients with type 2 diabetes and associated with poor diabetes-related outcomes. We evaluated the factors associated with antidepressant use in a low-income, racially and ethnically diverse sample of patients with type 2 diabetes. Research design and methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of baseline data from participants in a cluster randomized trial evaluating a health literacy intervention for diabetes care in safety net clinics. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D); antidepressant use was abstracted from medication lists. Multivariable mixed effects logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between antidepressant use and race/ethnicity adjusting for depressive symptoms, age, gender, income, and health literacy. Results: Of 403 participants, 58% were non-Hispanic White, 18% were non-Hispanic Black, and 24% were Hispanic. Median age was 51 years old; 60% were female, 52% of participants had a positive screen for depression, and 18% were on antidepressants. Black and Hispanic participants were significantly less likely to be on an antidepressant compared with white participants, adjusted odds ratios 0.31(95% CI: 0.12 to 0.80) and 0.26 (95% CI: 0.10 to 0.74), respectively. Conclusions: In this vulnerable population with type 2 diabetes, we found a high prevalence of depressive symptoms, and a small proportion of participants were on an antidepressant. Black and Hispanic participants were significantly less likely to be treated with an antidepressant. Our findings suggest depression may be inadequately treated in low-income, uninsured patients with type 2 diabetes, especially racial and ethnic minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107405
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019



  • Antidepressant medication
  • Depression
  • Disparities
  • Minority populations
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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