Associations between comorbid disease outcomes among patients with depression in a student run free clinic
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Background: Research demonstrates a correlation between diagnosed depression and increased markers of chronic medical illness, including poorer glycemic control, increased risk for cardiovascular events, and obesity. Moreover, medically underserved patient populations are especially at high risk for poor health outcomes due to chronic illness, which has profound implications for both individual patients as well as the healthcare system. However, very little research has been done on chronic health outcomes among underserved mental health patients treated in integrated behavioral health/primary medical care settings. MedZou, a student-run, free medical clinic provides integrated health care services to uninsured, low-income adults in Mid-Missouri, and provides a potentially ideal setting for this research. We wanted to compare health outcomes between patients identified with depression and those without depression that were treated at MedZou.