Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2003
Publication Date: 3/24/2004
Citation: Penland, J.G., Gray, J.S., Lambert, P.L., Wilson, E.L., Gonzalez, J., Lukaski, H.C. 2004. Depression in northern plains indians is associated with physical health and fitness, dietary intakes, food insecurity and cultural identification [abstract]. The Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology Journal. 18:A516. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: American Indians (AI) suffer disproportionately from depression, with a per capita suicide rate 247% the national average. Development of effective prevention and treatment interventions for AI requires identification of factors that may moderate depression. We studied the relationships between depression and physical health and fitness, dietary intakes, food insecurity and cultural identification. Participants were more than 500 AI attending summer powwows and health conferences at 5 reservations and 3 tribal colleges in the Northern Plains. Depression, health and fitness, dietary intakes, food insecurity and cultural identification were measured with questionnaires, while height, weight and blood pressure were measured directly. Scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) were negatively related to reported self (p=0.0005) and family (p<0.0001) health, and to amount of exercise compared to peers (p=0.0003). BDI-II scores were positively but moderately related to body mass index in males (p<0.04) and females (p<0.08); to dietary cholesterol (p<0.05), but not total caloric intake; and, to food insecurity (p<0.0001). BDI-II scores were inversely related to identification with traditional Native culture and values (p<0.002). Findings suggest that multiple health, nutrition, socioeconomic and cultural factors be considered when designing programs to prevent and treat depression in AI.