250233 Relative importance of caregiver status in predicting poor health among older adults in Los Angeles County

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:42 AM

Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health; Center for Health Improvement in Minority Elders/Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Jihey Lee, MS , Department of Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Amy Lightstone, MPH , Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS , County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Office of Senior Health, Los Angeles, CA
Data on the prevalence and impact of caregiving on health could inform local program planning and policymaking, but most research has sampled caregivers only at state and national levels. To address this gap, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health developed a caregiving module for the 2007 Los Angeles County Health Survey (2007 LACHS). This study compared health risk behaviors, health care access, and chronic health conditions by caregiver status among older adults (age > 65 years) in Los Angeles County. The study also examined if caregiver status was an independent risk factor for poor health in these adults. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to assess self-reported health status, disability, number of activity limitation days, and number of chronic conditions using data from the 2007 LACHS. Almost 15% of county residents > 65 years reported being a caregiver to another adult. Caregiver status was not associated with poor health status among older adults in this sample. Instead, adults with higher BMI's, no or minimal physical activity, low income, living in an unsafe neighborhood, and having a barrier to care had increased odds of reporting a poor health outcome. Findings suggest that environmental and social determinants of health are significant predictors of health among older adults in Los Angeles County, rather than caregiver status alone. Research needs to explore the effects of the social and neighborhood environment on older adults' health as they age in place, and communities need to identify strategies that promote healthy aging for all older adults.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to 1) identify at least one risk factor for poor health among older adults age 65 years or older; and 2) describe one or more characteristics of the 2007 Los Angeles County Health Survey.

Keywords: Health, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the study and supervised the analyses
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.