Impact of arthritis on disability among older Mexican Americans

S Al Snih, K S Markides, G V Ostir, J S Goodwin
Ethnicity & Disease 2001, 11 (1): 19-23

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of self-reported diagnosis of arthritis at baseline on the two year incidence of limitation in activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living in initially non-disabled Mexican-American elderly.

DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SETTING Southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California).

SUBJECTS: A probability sample of 2,167 non-institutionalized Mexican-American men and women, aged 65 or older.

MEASURES: Having ever been told by a doctor that a subject had arthritis, Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), depressive symptomatology, presence of chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, heart attack, stroke, cancer), and body mass index (BMI).

RESULTS: Among non-disabled persons at baseline, 11.2% of subjects with arthritis reported at least one ADL limitation after two years, compared to 6.9% of subjects without arthritis. Similarly, among non-disabled persons at baseline, 34.7% of subjects with arthritis reported at least one IADL limitation after two years, compared to 27.0% of subjects without arthritis. In logistic regression analysis, depression, diabetes, and arthritis were found to be predictive of the development of ADL disability, controlling for sociodemographic variables. Depression was the only condition that significantly predicted IADL disability.

CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with arthritis were more likely to develop ADL and IADL disability over a two-year period than those without arthritis.

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