Acculturation, Gender, and Active Life Expectancy in the Mexican-Origin Population

Marc A. Garcia, Jacqueline L. Angel, Ronald J. Angel, Chi Tsun Chiu, Jennifer Melvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines the potential effects of nativity and acculturation on active life expectancy (ALE) among Mexican-origin elders. Method: We employ 17 years of data from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to calculate ALE at age 65 with and without disabilities. Results: Native-born males and foreign-born females spend a larger fraction of their elderly years with activities of daily living (ADL) disability. Conversely, both foreign-born males and females spend a larger fraction of their remaining years with instrumental activities of daily life (IADL) disability than the native-born. In descriptive analysis, women with low acculturation report higher ADL and IADL disability. Men manifest similar patterns for IADLs. Discussion: Although foreign-born elders live slightly longer lives, they do so with more years spent in a disabled state. Given the rapid aging of the Mexican-origin population, the prevention and treatment of disabilities, particularly among the foreign born, should be a major public health priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1265
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • acculturation
  • active life expectancy
  • disability
  • Hispanic health
  • Mexican elders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Medicine(all)

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