Comorbidity and disability in elderly Mexican and Mexican American adults: Findings from Mexico and the Southwestern United States

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Abstract

This article aims to compare the effects of morbid and comorbid medical conditions on disability in elderly Mexican and Mexican American adults. Data from the 2001 Mexican Health and Aging Study (N = 4,872) and 1993 to 1994 Hispanic Established Population for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (N = 3,050) were analyzed. Prevalence of medical conditions and disability in activities of daily living were calculated and logistic models were used to test associations. Prevalence of disability in older Mexicans was 16.3% while it was slightly lower in Mexican Americans (13.1%). Prevalence of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke were substantially higher in Mexican Americans than in older adults living in Mexico. Diabetes, stroke, and heart attack were comorbid conditions that raised the likelihood of disability in both populations among subjects with other medical conditions. Despite differences in prevalence, the associations of morbidity and comorbidity with disability had similar magnitudes in both populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of aging and health
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Chronic disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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