240161 Measures of life course household income and depressive symptoms in the Alameda County Study, 1965-1999

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:50 AM

Vicki Johnson-Lawrence, MS, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
George A. Kaplan, PhD , Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Lower socioeconomic position is associated with increased risk for depression. However, few studies have compared the strength of associations between recent, long-term, or trajectories of income over time and depressive symptoms. Using logistic regression models, three household income measures were studied in relation to experiencing five or more depressive symptoms in 1999: recent income (1999), average income (1965-1999), and income trajectory patterns (1965-1999). Alameda County Study data from the 2102 (nmen=905, nwomen=1195) of the 2123 respondents to the 1999 questionnaire with age, race/ethnicity, marital status, and income data were used in these analyses. Income trajectories were categorized as persistently low-decreasing, persistently low-increasing, moderately low, moderately low-increasing, increasing, and high-parabolic. Controlling for age, race/ethnicity, marital status and gender, membership in the lowest (Odds Ratio (OR) =3.2, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.9-5.4) and second (OR =1.8, 95% CI=1.0-3.0) quartiles of income in 1999 compared to the highest quartile was associated with greater odds of multiple depressive symptoms. Adults with average income in the lowest (OR =2.6, 95% CI=1.6-4.3) and second (OR=2.0, 95% CI=1.2-3.4) compared to highest quartile and the persistently low-increasing (OR=3.6, 95% CI=1.7-7.8) and moderately low (OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.2-4.5) compared to high-parabolic trajectory had increased odds of depressive symptoms. While associations were present between each income measure and depressive symptoms, effect size was largest for trajectories, followed by current and average income measures respectively. Studies investigating income effects on mental health should be selective and purposeful when determining the income measure for analysis.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe methods by which income has previously been measured; Demonstrate the variability in association with depressive symptoms that is likely to occur when usually multiple measures of household income; Assess the importance of measure selection in our analyses of social determinants of health outcomes

Keywords: Social Class, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I study the effects of socioenvironmental conditions on mental health outcomes and I am working towards being professionally known for this type of research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.