Depression and physical functioning among older Americans with diabesity: NHANES 2009-2010

Pamela G. Bowen, Loretta T. Lee, Michelle Y. Martin, Olivio J. Clay
  • Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, July 2016, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/2327-6924.12393

Depression and physical function among older adults with diabetes and obesity.

What is it about?

We used NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data 2009-2010 to examine association of depression and physical function in older adults with both obesity and diabetes

Why is it important?

This study is important because it identified disparities of depressive symptoms and physical function declines that exist in individuals with diabesity (diabetes in the context of obesity) compared to those with obesity only or neither condition (obesity, diabetes). These findings revealed that people with diabesity report significantly more depressive symptoms than people with only diabetes, only obesity or neither condition. In addition, individuals with diabesity and those who were obese reported significantly more problems with physical function. The authors concluded that the combination of obesity and diabetes was more burdensome to older adults than either condition alone.


Dr Loretta Taylor Lee (Author)
University of Alabama

More research is needed to understand the interplay between depression, physical function, and diabesity. Interventions targeted to disrupt the adverse effects of obesity and diabetes burden may be beneficial in improving and maintaining physical and mental health among older adults.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Loretta Taylor Lee