Date of Award


Degree Name



Public Health


Jeannie B. Concha


Background: Individuals with depression and stress are 60% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those without (Mezuk et al., 2008). Moreover, biological pro-inflammatory markers associated with psychosocial stress are risk factors for diabetes. Examining the relationship between psychological disorders, inflammation, and diabetes risk among MAH is important as they have high rates of diabetes.

Purpose: To examine the relationship between 1) depressive symptoms, chronic stress, and inflammatory markers, 2) inflammation and diabetes risk factors and 3) depression, stress, inflammation, diabetes risk, and metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 100 adult men from El Paso, Texas in 2018-19. Depressive symptoms were assessed with Patient Health Questionaire-2 and chronic stress using a stress scale from the Hispanic Community Health Study. The Interleukin-18 cytokine assessment helped to determine inflammation. Diabetes risk was assessed using waist circumference, triglycerides, cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), high blood pressure, and MetS.

Results: Pearson' s r statistics showed a significant association between depressive symptoms and chronic stress (r=.417, p=<.001) and inflammation was not associated with either (-.131, p=.260; .026, p=.827 respectively). Waist circumference was associated with HbA1c (r=.226, p=.043), SBP (r=.226, p=.042), DBP (r=.283, p=.010), and inversely associated with triglycerides (r= -.377, p=.043). Logistic regression showed statistical significance, X2 (9)= 68.462, p<.001. The model explained 85.2% (R-square = .852) of the variance in MetS.

Conclusions: Diabetes risk indicators are associated with MetS; however, psychological factors and inflammation explained less of the variance vs. the other diabetes risk indicators. Possible limitations are the low scores of depression, stress, and inflammation. Depressive symptoms and chronic stress are associated but not with inflammation. Recommendations: Increase the heterogeneity of the sample on depression, stress, and inflammation to reduce type 2 error due to small sample size and detect a real effect of depression/stress on diabetes risk.




Recieved from ProQuest

File Size

63 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Aleli Fernandez