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

Academic Article


  • Background: Caring for older adults with diabesity can be challenging for primary care nurse practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine whether there would be an additive effect of diabesity on depressive symptoms and physical functioning of older adults. We hypothesized that there is an additive effect of diabesity on depressive symptoms and physical functioning among older adults with one or neither condition. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys collected from African-American and Caucasian adults aged 65 and over between 2009 and 2010. Multivariate linear regression models were utilized. The sample consisted of 918 participants. In covariate-adjusted models, participants with diabesity reported more depressive symptoms than people with neither condition. Individuals with diabesity and those with obesity alone reported significantly more difficulty with physical function when compared to participants with neither condition. Conclusion: Findings suggest that diabesity was more burdensome to older adults than either condition alone. More research is needed to understand the interplay between depression, physical function, and diabesity. Implications for practice: To disrupt the adverse effects of diabesity burden, increased nurse practitioner awareness of this phenomenon may be beneficial in improving and maintaining physical and mental health among older adults.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bowen PG; Lee LT; Martin MY; Clay OJ
  • Start Page

  • 70
  • End Page

  • 76
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 2