Abstract 1533: Correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Korean Elders with Hypertension
Background: Hypertension affects two thirds of Korean elders. Depressive symptoms are prevalent in elders with hypertension and contribute to development of acute events such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Low-income elders may have unique characteristics related to depressive symptoms. However, little is known about the factors affecting depressive symptoms in this population.
Purpose: To describe the prevalence of depressive symptoms and to examine correlates of depressive symptoms in community dwelling low-income Korean elders with hypertension.
Method: A total of 112 low-income Korean elders with hypertension (age 74 ± 6 years, 82% female, 79% no education) participated. Information about depressive symptoms (the Geriatric Depression Scale), self-care behaviors (Health Conservation Scale), functional status (Katz’ Activities of Daily Living), cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination), and family medical history were colleted via interview due to illiteracy. Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation were used to describe prevalence of depressive symptoms and correlates of depressive symptoms. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to determine factors affecting depressive symptoms.
Result: Most low-income Korean elders had depressive symptoms (50% severe; 36% mild), poor self-care behaviors (83%), poor functional status (89% very limited activity), mild cognitive impairment (22%), and higher family medical history (79%). Depressive symptoms were correlated with poor engagement in self-care (r = −.575, p < .001), poor functional status (r = −.512, p < .001), mild cognitive impairment (r = −.412, p < .001), and family medical history (r = .420, p < .001). Self-care behavior, functional status, cognitive function, and family medical history were associated independently with depressive symptoms (F = 28.671, R2 = .517, p = < .001).
Conclusion: Majority of low-income elders with hypertension had depressive symptoms and they had multiple characteristics that increase their risk for depressive symptoms. Comprehensive cognitive, psychological, and behavioral interventions are needed to improve depressive symptoms in this population.