Commenced in January 2007
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The Association between Food Security Status and Depression in Two Iranian Ethnic Groups Living in Northwest of Iran

Authors: A. Rezazadeh, N. Omidvar, H. Eini-Zinab


Food insecurity (FI) influences may result in poor physical and mental health outcomes. Minor ethnic group may experience higher level of FI, and this situation may be related with higher depression prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the association of depression with food security status in major (Azeri) and minor (Kurdish) ethnicity living in Urmia, West Azerbaijan, north of Iran. In this cross-sectional study, 723 participants (427 women and 296 men) aged 20–64 years old, from two ethnic groups (445 Azeri and 278 Kurdish), were selected through a multi stage cluster systematic sampling. Depression rate was assessed by “Beck” short form questionnaire (validated in Iranians) through interviews. Household FI status (HFIS) was measured using adapted HFI access scale through face-to-face interviews at homes. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) of depression across HFIS. Higher percent of Kurds had moderate and severe depression in comparison with Azeri group (73 [17.3%] vs. 86 [27.9%]). There were not any significant differences between the two ethnicities in mild depression. Also, of all the subjects, moderate-to-sever FI was more prevalent in Kurds (28.5%), compared to Azeri group (17.3%) [P < 0.01]. Kurdish ethnic group living in food security or mild FI households had lower chance to have symptom of severe depression in comparison to those with sever FI (OR=0.097; 95% CI: 0.02-0.47). However, there was no significant association between depression and HFI in Azeri group. Findings revealed that the severity of HFI was related with severity depression in minor studied ethnic groups. However, in Azeri ethnicity as a major group, other confounders may have influence on the relation with depression and FI, that were not studied in the present study.

Keywords: Depression, ethnicity, food security status, Iran.

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