Cross-national comparison of disability in Latin American and Caribbean persons aged 75 and older

Carlos A. Reyes-Ortiz, Glenn V. Ostir, Martha Pelaez, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    The objectives of this study were to compare rates of instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) and activity of daily living (ADL) difficulties and examine sociodemographic and health correlates of IADL and ADL difficulties. Data were extracted from the first interview of Health, Well-Being and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean Study (abbreviated from Spanish name as: SABE = salud, bienestar y envejecimiento en America Latina y el Caribe). This analysis included 3225 subjects aged 75 and older living in seven capital cities during 1999-2000. Reporting either IADL or ADL difficulties were the outcomes. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between IADL or ADL difficulties and sociodemographics, and health characteristics. The highest prevalence of IADL difficulties was reported in Sao Paulo (33.8%) and the lowest in Montevideo (12.0%). The highest prevalence of ADL difficulties was reported in Santiago (34.7%) and the lowest in Bridgetown (16.9%). In a combined analysis across cities, increased age, fewer years of education, lower body mass index (BMI) (<20), and high number of medical conditions were independently significantly associated with IADL and ADL difficulties. In conclusion, about a third of persons aged 75 and older reported difficulty in at least one IADL or ADL. There was a wide variation on disability rates and correlates across cities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)21-33
    Number of pages13
    JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2006


    • Cross-national comparisons
    • Disability prevalence in elderly
    • Latin America and Caribbean
    • SABE Study

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Aging
    • Gerontology
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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