Mental health issues affect people across all socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups. However, minority and low-income groups commonly face mental health issues with little to no access to diagnosis and treatment.
A secondary analysis of a recent randomized controlled trial published in JAMA Psychiatry indicated that over 50% of African American women with low income and uncontrolled hypertension suffer from depression. The randomized controlled trial included 316 African American women between the ages of 40 and 75 years old. The women all had uncontrolled hypertension and lived in low-income neighborhoods of Washington D.C.
Ultimately, it was found that 57% of study participants had symptoms of depression. Moreover, 33% had never been screened for depression or received a diagnosis. Participants who lacked a high school education and those who smoked and had chronic conditions like hypertension were found to be more likely to develop depression.
The researchers concluded that regular depression screening is needed for African American women with uncontrolled hypertension. Providing these women with adequate screening and treatment for depression as appropriate may, in turn, help to improve their hypertension .
Source: Gabriel, A., Zare, H., Jones, W., Yang, M., Ibe, C. A., Cao, Y., Balamani, M., Gaston, M., Porter, G., Woods, D. L., & Gaskin, D. J. (2021). Evaluating depressive symptoms among low-socioeconomic-status African American women aged 40 to 75 years with uncontrolled hypertension. JAMA Psychiatry, 78(4), 426. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4622