Prevalence of disability among US- and foreign-born Arab Americans

Results from the 2000 US Census

Florence J. Dallo, Soham Al Snih al snih, Kristine J. Ajrouch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:Although the prevalence of disability for various racial and ethnic groups has been documented, little attention has been paid to Arab Americans in the United States. Objectives: We estimated the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of disability among older Arab Americans and examined the association between nativity status and self-reported physical and self-care disability before and after controlling for covariates. Methods: We used data from the 5% Public Use Microdata Samples of the 2000 US Census. Our sample included 4,225 individuals 65 years of age and older who identified with an Arab ancestry. Of these, 2,280 were foreign-born and 1,945 were US-born. Results: The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of having a physical disability was 31.2% for foreign- and 23.4% for US-born older Arab Americans, and the age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of having a self-care disability was 13.5% for foreign- and 6.8% for US-born Arab Americans. Iraqis reported the highest estimates for both disabilities (physical, 36.2%; self-care, 19.8%) compared to other Arab ethnic groups. In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were more likely (OR = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.28, 1.36) to report a physical disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. When adjusting for English language ability in the final model, the odds of having a physical disability for foreign-born Arab Americans was protective compared to US-born Arab Americans (OR = 0.92; 95% CI = 0.88, 0.96). In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were 1.82 times (95% CI = 1.74, 1.90) more likely to report a self-care disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. In the fully adjusted model, this association was slightly attenuated (OR = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.24, 1.41). Conclusions: These findings indicate English language ability is associated with variations in reporting a physical disability. Future studies should include better measures of acculturation. Arab Americans are heterogeneous and should be disaggregated both by subgroups and from the white category in order to reveal a more accurate health and disease status profile for these groups. These efforts will assist in tailoring more effective interventions in reducing or preventing disability among Arab Americans 65 years of age and older.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalGerontology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

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Censuses
Self Care
Aptitude
Ethnic Groups
Language
Acculturation
Health Status

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Arab American
  • Disability
  • Nativity status
  • US Census

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Prevalence of disability among US- and foreign-born Arab Americans : Results from the 2000 US Census. / Dallo, Florence J.; Al Snih al snih, Soham; Ajrouch, Kristine J.

In: Gerontology, Vol. 55, No. 2, 03.2009, p. 153-161.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Prevalence of disability among US- and foreign-born Arab Americans: Results from the 2000 US Census",
abstract = "Background:Although the prevalence of disability for various racial and ethnic groups has been documented, little attention has been paid to Arab Americans in the United States. Objectives: We estimated the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of disability among older Arab Americans and examined the association between nativity status and self-reported physical and self-care disability before and after controlling for covariates. Methods: We used data from the 5{\%} Public Use Microdata Samples of the 2000 US Census. Our sample included 4,225 individuals 65 years of age and older who identified with an Arab ancestry. Of these, 2,280 were foreign-born and 1,945 were US-born. Results: The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of having a physical disability was 31.2{\%} for foreign- and 23.4{\%} for US-born older Arab Americans, and the age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of having a self-care disability was 13.5{\%} for foreign- and 6.8{\%} for US-born Arab Americans. Iraqis reported the highest estimates for both disabilities (physical, 36.2{\%}; self-care, 19.8{\%}) compared to other Arab ethnic groups. In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were more likely (OR = 1.32; 95{\%} CI = 1.28, 1.36) to report a physical disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. When adjusting for English language ability in the final model, the odds of having a physical disability for foreign-born Arab Americans was protective compared to US-born Arab Americans (OR = 0.92; 95{\%} CI = 0.88, 0.96). In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were 1.82 times (95{\%} CI = 1.74, 1.90) more likely to report a self-care disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. In the fully adjusted model, this association was slightly attenuated (OR = 1.32; 95{\%} CI = 1.24, 1.41). Conclusions: These findings indicate English language ability is associated with variations in reporting a physical disability. Future studies should include better measures of acculturation. Arab Americans are heterogeneous and should be disaggregated both by subgroups and from the white category in order to reveal a more accurate health and disease status profile for these groups. These efforts will assist in tailoring more effective interventions in reducing or preventing disability among Arab Americans 65 years of age and older.",
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N2 - Background:Although the prevalence of disability for various racial and ethnic groups has been documented, little attention has been paid to Arab Americans in the United States. Objectives: We estimated the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of disability among older Arab Americans and examined the association between nativity status and self-reported physical and self-care disability before and after controlling for covariates. Methods: We used data from the 5% Public Use Microdata Samples of the 2000 US Census. Our sample included 4,225 individuals 65 years of age and older who identified with an Arab ancestry. Of these, 2,280 were foreign-born and 1,945 were US-born. Results: The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of having a physical disability was 31.2% for foreign- and 23.4% for US-born older Arab Americans, and the age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of having a self-care disability was 13.5% for foreign- and 6.8% for US-born Arab Americans. Iraqis reported the highest estimates for both disabilities (physical, 36.2%; self-care, 19.8%) compared to other Arab ethnic groups. In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were more likely (OR = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.28, 1.36) to report a physical disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. When adjusting for English language ability in the final model, the odds of having a physical disability for foreign-born Arab Americans was protective compared to US-born Arab Americans (OR = 0.92; 95% CI = 0.88, 0.96). In the crude model, foreign-born Arab Americans were 1.82 times (95% CI = 1.74, 1.90) more likely to report a self-care disability compared to US-born Arab Americans. In the fully adjusted model, this association was slightly attenuated (OR = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.24, 1.41). Conclusions: These findings indicate English language ability is associated with variations in reporting a physical disability. Future studies should include better measures of acculturation. Arab Americans are heterogeneous and should be disaggregated both by subgroups and from the white category in order to reveal a more accurate health and disease status profile for these groups. These efforts will assist in tailoring more effective interventions in reducing or preventing disability among Arab Americans 65 years of age and older.

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