November/December 2004 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet

in a treatment study, researchers found that depression severity had a greater impact on functioning and quality of life than other chronic medical conditions like diabetes, lung disease, hypertension, cancer, chronic pain and heart disease. The authors note that while study participants reported an average of 3.8 chronic medical illnesses, depression severity made larger independent contributions to mental functional status, disability and quality of life than the medical comorbidities. The authors conclude that improved recognition and treatment of late-life depression, one of the most treatable chronic illnesses, has the potential to significantly improve patients' lives in spite of other medical illnesses.
Depression and Comorbid Illness in Elderly Primary Care Patients: Impact on Multiple Domains of Health Status and Well-being
By Polly Hitchcock Nol, Ph.D., et al

Rural Blacks at Increased Risk for Poor Diabetes and Hypertension Control
Blacks living in rural areas not only have higher rates of diabetes and hypertension than urban blacks and both rural and urban whites, according to a new study, they also have significantly worse control of the diseases. Analyzing nationally-representative data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, the authors found that rural blacks have significantly worse glycemic and diastolic blood pressure control than the aforementioned groups. From the data, the authors conclude that being rural and black is associated with substantially worse health status, and they assert that this data supports the need for a vigorous effort to address the health problems of patients living in rural areas, especially those who are of lower income and are black.
Race, Rural Residence and Control of Diabetes and Hypertension
By Arch G. Mainous, III, Ph.D., et al

Why 42 Percent of Clinic Appointments are No-Shows: An Issue of

Contact: Angela Lower
American Academy of Family Physicians

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