5121.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 1:42 PM

Abstract #10767

Disparities in Nutritional Risk Among Black and White Older Adults in Rural Areas: The Home-Delivered Meals Program

Joseph R. Sharkey, MPH, RD and Pamela S. Haines, DrPH, RD. School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #7400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, 919.942.2882, aggie1@mindspring.com

Older adults who receive home-delivered meals, especially residents of rural areas, are known to be at greatest risk for poor nutrition and subsequent adverse health outcomes. However, our knowledge of racial disparities regarding nutritional risk in this population is limited. We examine race differences in risk level of aggregated scores of the 10-item Checklist, counts of individual risk factors, and patterns of multiple risk factors from 245 participants in two rural home-delivered nutrition programs. Using histograms, we demarcated the singular high-risk level (scores ³ 6) into three groups (scores of 6-8, 9-11, and ³ 12). Multiple logistic regression indicated that black participants were 3.4 times more likely than whites (p=0.014) to have scores ³12 (highest level of nutritional risk). The probability increased for those who lived alone (p=0.021) and had an income £ poverty level (p=0.052). Though we found similar mean counts of risk factors, blacks were more likely to report ³ 5 risk factors. Both black and white participants were characterized by a large number of distinct patterns of multiple risk factors. Among those with a Checklist score ³ 6, the same 9 patterns characterized 49% of whites and 28% of blacks. There were 86 distinct patterns, with only 20 common to both blacks and whites. These results suggest that, in this sample, black participants are at higher nutritional risk than whites in the same program. Furthermore, the racial difference is dramatized by the lack of similarity of patterns of multiple risk factors.

Learning Objectives: Identify racial differences in nutritional risk among rural older adults who receive home-delivered nutrition

Keywords: Nutrition, Rural Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA