Are Anxious and Depressive Symptoms Associated with Gastrointestinal Symptoms in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)?

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Jun;8(3):712-722. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00831-6. Epub 2020 Aug 1.


Psychological distress is common among non-Hispanic/Latino adults with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Heartburn and acid regurgitation symptom prevalence, and their relationship with anxious and depressive symptoms, was examined in 16,415 Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants aged 18-74 from 4 US cities (Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA). Complex survey logistic regression models were used to test relations between GI, anxious, and depressive symptoms. 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.4, 10.8) and 8.9% (95% CI = 8.3, 9.5) of the overall sample (estimates are weighted and adjusted for age and body mass index) respectively self-reported heartburn and acid regurgitation at least several times/week within the past year. Adults who reported GI symptoms several times/week or more also self-reported higher psychological distress compared to adults who reported GI symptoms less frequently. For one standard deviation higher in anxious symptoms (5.6 units), GI prevalence odds were respectively 1.14 (95% CI = 1.10, 1.17) and 1.14 (95% CI = 1.09, 1.18) for heartburn and acid regurgitation. GI prevalence odds (heartburn = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.11, 1.18; acid regurgitation = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.18) were similar for one standard deviation higher in depressive symptoms (5.9 units). Demographic, health, and clinical characteristics did not significantly attenuate relationships between GI and psychological distress symptoms. Psychological distress is related to GI symptoms in US Hispanics/Latinos.

Keywords: Acid regurgitation; Anxiety; Depression; Heartburn; Hispanic/Latino.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / ethnology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / ethnology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult