6030.0: Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 9:15 AM

Abstract #3018

Disparities in disability-related retirement among racial/ethnic groups in the US

Robert L Bertera, DrPH, Environmental & Occupational Health, GWU School of Public Health & Health Services, 1725 Shilling Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20906, 301 603-1467, berterar@aol.com

(1) Justification: Disability retirements affect productivity, earning power and healthcare costs for individuals and society. (2) Objectives: Identify disparities in disability-related retirements in the US. (3) Methods: This study used bivariate techniques to examine disability-related retirements from the 1988-94 NHANES III survey. The population consisted of a weighted sample of 140 million adults, ages 17 or more. Age (17-44, 45+) and income (<$20,000, $20,000+) were used as control variables. (4) Results: Retirements due to disability were more likely in lower income persons. This pattern was observed in all age groups. For example, among persons 17-44, 18.9% of those with lower incomes retired due to disability versus 3.1% with incomes of $20,000+. African Americans experienced the highest disability retirement rates, followed by Mexican Americans and white respondents, in that order. Among persons 17-44, rates for lower vs higher income were highest for African Americans (25.5% and 11.5%), followed by Mexican Americans (16.3% and 2.2%) and whites (12.4% and 2.6%). Among older workers, disability retirement rates were also higher for lower (41.8%) versus higher income (15.2%) persons and highest for African Americans (57.2% and 39.7%), followed by Mexican Americans (46.6% and 24.1%) and whites (37.4% and 12.2). (5) Significance: Findings may be linked to various factors, including occupation, which differed for the three racial/ethnic groups. Preliminary results show significant disparities among racial/ethnic groups in the magnitude and the distribution of disability-related retirements. Improved understanding in this area will help to inform job design/fit, work practices, health/safety education and worker training.

Learning Objectives: 1. Understand the disparities in disability-related retirements among major racial/ethnic groups in the US. 2. Learn how age and income affects the burden of disability-related retirements within racial/ethnic groups. 3. Explore strategies for applying this knowledge to eliminating disparities through health and safety education, job design/fit policies and changes in worker training

Keywords: Disability Policy, Occupational Health

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