259355 Ethnic Disparities in Disability among Middle-Aged and Older Israeli Adults: The Role of Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Lifetime Adversity

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:42 PM

Amira Osman, BSN, MPH , Arnold School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior, University of south Carolina, Columbia, SC
Katrina Walsemann, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
BACKGROUND: Ethnic minorities often experience higher rates of stress and have access to fewer material resources, both of which confer a higher risk for disease and disability. Few studies have investigated ethnic health disparities among the Israeli population, even though vast ethnic differences in power, resources, and education exist. The current study examines if lifetime adversity and socioeconomic status (SES) contribute to ethnic disparities in disability among older Israeli adults. METHODS: We used data from the Israeli component of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) Wave 1 (2005\06), a nationally representative sample of Israelis aged 50 or older. The sample included respondents from the three major ethnic groups in Israel: Jewish Israelis, Arabs, and Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) (n=1547). We employed negative binomial regression to assess the risk of disability as measured by activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). RESULTS: Arab older adults (IRR=1.39; 95% CI 1.13, 1.71) and FSU older adults (IRR=1.72; 95% CI 1.30, 2.26) experienced higher risk of ADLs compared to Jewish Israelis. Similar results were found for IADLs. Greater education, higher income, and fewer lifetime adversities were associated with lower risk of ADLs and IADLs. Inclusion of these variables attenuated, but did not eliminate ethnic disparities in disability. CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic disadvantage among Arabs and Jewish immigrants from FSU is associated with higher levels of disability. Lifetime adversity might lead to greater socioeconomic disadvantage among ethnic minorities and intensify disparities in disability.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify factors associated with disability among older adults. Describe ethnic disparities in Socioeconomic status and disability in Israel. Discuss how adversity and stressful life events can influence physical health among older adults over the life course.

Keywords: Adult Health, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second year PhD student at the University of South Carolina. I am originally from Israel. My research interests include health disparities and analyzing secondary data. In this specific study, I used a publicly available secondary data to investigate health disparities in disabilities among ethnic groups in my own country.
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.