Depressive symptoms predict low physical performance among older Mexican Americans

Joshua Patino, Martin Alberto Rodriguez, Soham Al Snih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Depressive symptoms are common in older adults and predict functional dependency. Aims: To examine the ability of depressive symptoms to predict low physical performance over 20 years of follow-up among older Mexican Americans who scored moderate to high in the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) test and were non-disabled at baseline. Methods: Data were from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly. Our sample included 1545 community-dwelling Mexican American men and women aged 65 and older. Measures included socio-demographics, depressive symptoms, SPPB, handgrip strength, activities of daily living, body mass index (BMI), mini-mental state examination, and self-reports of various medical conditions. General Equation Estimation was used to estimate the odds ratio of developing low physical performance over time as a function of depressive symptoms. Results: The mean SPPB score at baseline was 8.6 ± 1.4 for those with depressive symptoms and 9.1 ± 1.4 for those without depressive symptoms. The odds ratio of developing low physical performance over time was 1.53 (95% Confidence Interval = 1.27–1.84) for those with depressive symptoms compared with those without depressive symptoms, after controlling for all covariates. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms were a predictor of low physical performance in older Mexican Americans over a 20-year follow-up period. Interventions aimed at preventing decline in physical performance in older adults should address management of their depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2549-2555
Number of pages7
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Mexican Americans
  • Older adults
  • Short physical performance battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive symptoms predict low physical performance among older Mexican Americans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this