Functional disability in older Mexican Americans

Laura Rudkin, Kyriakos S. Markides, David V. Espino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Little is known about the prevalence of functional limitations in the Mexican-American older population. Recent data from a large epidemiologic study of Mexican-American community-dwelling older adults are compared with data from two other large scale studies of White and African-American older persons. The rates of functional disability in Mexican-American older adults (measured by activities of dally living) were found to be somewhat higher than those of Other Whites and somewhat lower than those of African Americans. Socioeconomic status differences in functional limitations within the Mexican-American sample were not very large. Findings are discussed in terms of the effect of low rates of institutionalization on increasing rates of disability of community-dwelling Mexican-American older persons. Absence of notable socioeconomic status differences within the Mexican-American sample are attributed to restricted range in socioeconomic status and possible effects of earlier higher mortality among persons of lower socioeconomic status. Findings have implications for community based care of the Mexican-American older population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Hispanics
  • Mexican Americans
  • disability
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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