There is a paucity of research among African Americans and rural residents. Little is known about the association between urbanicity and depression or about the interaction of urbanicity, race/ethnicity, and sex on depression and mood disorder prevalence.
To examine the interaction of urbanicity and race/ethnicity on lifetime and 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD) and mood disorder prevalence for African American women and non-Hispanic white women.
Design, Setting, and Participants
The US National Survey of American Life data were used to examine the interaction of urbanicity and race/ethnicity on lifetime and 12-month diagnoses of DSM-IV MDD and mood disorder among female respondents, who included noninstitutionalized African American, Caribbean black, and non-Hispanic white women in the United States between February 2001 and June 2003. Participants included 1462 African American women and 341 non-Hispanic white women recruited from the South because all suburban and rural National Survey of American Life respondents resided in this region. Bivariate multiple logistic regression and adjusted prevalence analyses were performed. Urban, suburban, or rural location (assessed via Rural-Urban Continuum Codes), self-reported race/ethnicity, and sociodemographic factors (age, education, household income, and marital status) were included in the analysis.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Lifetime and 12-month MDD and mood disorder assessed via the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Compared with urban African American women, rural African American women had a significantly lower odds of meeting criteria for lifetime (odds ratio [OR], 0.39; 95% CI, 0.23-0.65) and 12-month (OR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.18-0.46) MDD and for lifetime (F = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.29-0.73) and 12-month (F = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.26-0.66) mood disorder. However, the interaction of urbanicity and race/ethnicity suggested that rural non-Hispanic white women had a significantly higher odds of meeting criteria for lifetime (OR, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.22-6.24) and 12-month (OR, 9.48; 95% CI, 4.65-19.34) MDD and for lifetime (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.06-4.87) and 12-month (OR, 5.99; 95% CI, 3.01-11.94) mood disorder than rural African American women. Adjusted prevalence analyses revealed significantly lower rates of lifetime (4.2%) and 12-month (1.5%) MDD among rural African American women than their urban counterparts (10.4% vs 5.3%; P ≤ .01). The same pattern was found for mood disorder, with rural African American women experiencing significantly lower rates of lifetime (6.7%) and 12-month (3.3%) mood disorder when compared to urban African American women (13.9% vs 7.6%; P ≤ .01) Conversely, rural non-Hispanic white women had significantly higher rates of 12-month MDD (10.3%) and mood disorder (10.3%) than their urban counterparts (3.7% vs 3.8%; P ≤ .01).
Conclusions and Relevance
Rural residence differentially influences MDD and mood disorder prevalence among African American women and non-Hispanic white women. These findings offer a first step toward understanding the cumulative effect of rural residence and race/ethnicity on women’s depression prevalence, suggesting the need for further research in this area.