Adiposity, Depression Symptoms and Inflammation in Hispanic/Latino Youth: Results From HCHS/SOL Youth

Ann Behav Med. 2020 Jun 12;54(7):529-534. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaz070.


Background: Inflammation is implicated as one of many factors related to the development of chronic disease; thus, identifying its modifiable risk factors offers potential intervention targets to reduce risk.

Purpose: To investigate whether depression and anxiety symptoms may indirectly affect high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) through sleep duration and adiposity (i.e., percentage body fat and waist circumference).

Methods: Multiple regression analyses were performed on Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Youth (ages 8-16 years) cross-sectional baseline data, which were weighted to adjust for sampling design. Data were collected at a clinical assessment, including fasting blood samples, self-report surveys, and objectively measured anthropometrics.

Results: Adjusting for sociodemographic covariates, depression symptoms were associated with log hs-CRP (β = .011, p = .047) but not PAI-1 (p = .285). Percentage body fat and waist circumference were positively related to depression symptoms (p = .026 and p = .028, respectively) and log hs-CRP (p < .001 for both). When including adiposity in the hs-CRP model, the associations of depression symptoms with hs-CRP were attenuated and became nonsignificant. Monte Carlo confidence intervals (CIs) showed that the indirect effects from depression symptoms to CRP through percentage body fat (95% CI: .0006, .0119) and waist circumference (95% CI: .0004, .0109) were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Results indicate that the association between psychological distress and inflammation may occur indirectly through adiposity in Hispanic/Latino children. If findings are replicated in causal designs, reducing depression symptoms and adiposity among Hispanic/Latino children may be avenues for primary prevention of inflammation in later years.

Keywords: Adiposity; Depression Symptoms; Hispanic/Latino Youth; Indirect Effects; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / psychology*
  • Male
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep*
  • United States


  • Biomarkers
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • C-Reactive Protein