195304 Health Disparities in Health Status Across the Life Course

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christine Unson, Dr , Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Mehreen Sheikh, MPH , Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Bernard Agaba , Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Objective: This study investigates whether health disparities pertaining to health status persists throughout the life course.

Methods: The sample from the BRFSS 2007 of a New England state was categorized into three age groups: 18-39, 40-59, 60 and older. The weighted sample was estimated at 2.6 million based on a sample of 7, 360. Proportions reporting fair to poor health by race/ethnic groups and age groups were estimated using SUDAAN. Relative risk ratios comparing self-reported non-Hispanic whites to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics for each age group were estimated and compared..

Results: The proportions reporting fair/poor health were 10% for the first two age groups and 20% for the oldest age groups. For non-Hispanic whites, the proportions were 7%, 8%, 18% respectively; for non-Hispanic blacks, 13%, 19%, 37% respectively, and for Hispanics, 26%, 24%, 46%. The proportions by race/ethnic groups were significantly different across the age groups (p<.001). Non-Hispanic blacks were about twice as likely to report fair/poor health in all age groups compared to non-Hispanic whites (RR=1.93, 2.37, 1.99 respectively). Hispanics were almost four times as likely in the youngest age group (RR=3.89), three times in the middle age group (RR=2.97), and twice in the oldest age group (RR=2.5).

Conclusion: More Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks report poor/health health than non-Hispanic whites, especially in the oldest age groups. Hispanics fare worse than non-Hispanic blacks. Disparity measures between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks are similar across the age groups. Disparity measures between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics decrease with increasing age.

Learning Objectives:
Assess the extent of race/ethnic-based disparities in perceived health status

Keywords: Health Disparities, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach graduate level biostatics. My PhD graduate courses required 4 statistics courses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.