Race/ethnicity and socioeconomic class as correlates of disability in old age.

Journal of gerontological social work

PubMedID: 19043907

Ozawa MN, Yeo YH. Race/ethnicity and socioeconomic class as correlates of disability in old age. J Gerontol Soc Work. 2008;51(3-4):337-65.
This article presents the results of a study on the correlates of disability in old age. We found that at the descriptive level and in the regression model that includes only demographic variables as controls, the odds of Black and Hispanic elderly persons being disabled were greater. However, when socioeconomic factors and demographic factors were taken into account, the racial/ethnic disadvantage disappears. In the model that dealt with disability based on the composite indexes of disability (that is, all types of disability combined) and in the model that dealt with disability based on functional limitations, we found that the odds of Black and Hispanic elderly persons being disabled were smaller than the odds of White elderly persons being disabled. We conclude that socioeconomic factors--not race/ethnicity--correlate with disability in old age. Implications for policy are discussed.