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Socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic differences in functional status associated with chronic diseases

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  • Kington, R.S.
  • Smith, J.P.

Abstract

Objectives. This study examined the relationships between wealth and income and selected racial and ethnic differences in health. Methods. Cross- sectional data on a national sample of 9744 men and women aged 51 through 61 from the 1992 Health and Retirement Survey were analyzed to examine the association between socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic differences in functional status among those with hypertension, diabetes, a heart condition, and arthritis. Results. Compared with Whites, African Americans report higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis, while Hispanics report higher rates of hypertension and diabetes and a lower rate of heart conditions. Accounting for differences in education, income, and wealth had little effect on these prevalence differences. In general, among those with chronic diseases, African Americans and Hispanics reported worse function than Whites. This disadvantage was eliminated in every case by controlling for socioeconomic status. Conclusions. While socioeconomic status, including wealth, accounts for much of the difference in functional status associated with these chronic diseases, it plays a relatively small role in explaining differences in the prevalence of chronic disease, possibly reflecting different causal pathways.

Suggested Citation

  • Kington, R.S. & Smith, J.P., 1997. "Socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic differences in functional status associated with chronic diseases," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 87(5), pages 805-810.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:5:805-810_9
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    1. Behrman, Jere R. & Sickles, Robin & Taubman, Paul & Yazbeck, Abdo, 1991. "Black-white mortality inequalities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 183-203, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alvin Headen & Kenneth Manton & Max Woodbury, 2004. "Co-morbidity and black and white disparities in health and functional status," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 9-33, June.
    2. Seeman, Teresa & Merkin, Sharon S. & Crimmins, Eileen & Koretz, Brandon & Charette, Susan & Karlamangla, Arun, 2008. "Education, income and ethnic differences in cumulative biological risk profiles in a national sample of US adults: NHANES III (1988-1994)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 72-87, January.
    3. Goldman, Dana & Smith, James P., 2011. "The increasing value of education to health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(10), pages 1728-1737, May.
    4. Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2010. "Economic Policies, Socieconomic Factors and Overall Health: A Short Review," MPRA Paper 21553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Haas, Steven & Rohlfsen, Leah, 2010. "Life course determinants of racial and ethnic disparities in functional health trajectories," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 240-250, January.
    6. Hajat, A. & Kaufman, J.S. & Rose, K.M. & Siddiqi, A. & Thomas, J.C., 2010. "Do the wealthy have a health advantage? Cardiovascular disease risk factors and wealth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(11), pages 1935-1942, December.
    7. Bowen, Mary Elizabeth, 2009. "Childhood socioeconomic status and racial differences in disability: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2006)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 433-441, August.
    8. S.A. Drakopoulos & E. Lakioti & I. Theodossiou, 2011. "Childhood socioeconomic deprivation and later adulthood health," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 23-38, January.
    9. Thorpe Jr., Roland James & Kasper, Judith D. & Szanton, Sarah L. & Frick, Kevin D. & Fried, Linda P. & Simonsick, Eleanor M., 2008. "Relationship of race and poverty to lower extremity function and decline: Findings from the women's health and aging study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 811-821, February.
    10. Fothergill, Kate E. & Ensminger, Margaret E. & Robertson, Judy & Green, Kerry M. & Thorpe, Roland J. & Juon, Hee-Soon, 2011. "Effects of social integration on health: A prospective study of community engagement among African American women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 291-298, January.
    11. Drakopoulos, Stavros A. & Lakioti, E & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2008. "The Effect of Childhood Economic Deprivation on Physical and Psychological health Status," MPRA Paper 10438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Paul Lee & James P. Smith & Raynard S. Kington, 2004. "The Associations Between Self-Rated Vision and Hearing and Functional Status in Middle Age," HEW 0402002, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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