Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 214–223 | Cite as

Association of Depression, Psycho-Social Stress and Acculturation with Respiratory Disease Among Puerto Rican Adults in Massachusetts

  • Stanislav Henkin
  • Katherine L. Tucker
  • Xiang Gao
  • Luis M. Falcon
  • Imrana Qawi
  • Doug Brugge
Original Paper


To assess associations between acculturation, depression, and self-reported stress score with reported diagnosis of respiratory disease (RD) in Puerto Rican adults, participants (N = 1,168) were identified from areas of high Hispanic density in the Boston, MA metropolitan area. Eligible participants were interviewed in the home by bilingual interviewers in either Spanish or English. Scales included topics ranging from general background to depressive symptomatology. Respiratory disease was self-reported and checked against prescribed medication. More than one-third (37.8%) of subjects reported doctor-diagnosed RD. A final binary logistical regression model (N = 850), which was adjusted for potential confounders (sex, age, education, poverty) showed that RD was significantly associated with psychological acculturation (OR = 1.97, P = 0.005), depressive symptomatology (OR = 1.52, P = 0.03) high perceived stress score (OR = 1.97, P = 0.009), and current smoking (OR = 1.61, P = 0.03). Significant inverse associations included a high level of language acculturation (OR = 0.65, P = 0.03), light (OR = 0.67, P = 0.01) and moderate to heavy physical activity versus sedentary physical activity (OR = 0.40, P = 0.03). We found self reported physician diagnosed RD was associated with high perceived stress and depression, as well as higher levels of psychological acculturation. Longitudinal research is needed to determine if there is a causal pathway for these associations.


Respiratory disease Depression Stress Acculturation Hispanics Puerto Ricans 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanislav Henkin
    • 1
  • Katherine L. Tucker
    • 2
  • Xiang Gao
    • 3
  • Luis M. Falcon
    • 4
  • Imrana Qawi
    • 5
  • Doug Brugge
    • 6
  1. 1.School of MedicineBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on AgingTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Tufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Public Health and Family MedicineTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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