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Differences by race in the health status of rural cognitively impaired Arkansans

Chumbler N, Hartman D, Cody M, Beck C. Differences by race in the health status of rural cognitively impaired Arkansans. Clinical Gerontologist. 2001 Sep 1; 24(1/2):103-121.

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Abstract: Objective: This study determined whether the health status (disability in terms of activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), cognitive status, chronic health conditions, and self-rated health status patterns differed by race, race and gender, or race and education in a sample of commmunity-dwelling older adults who had mild cognitive impairment and lived in rural areas. Methods: Data collection involved telephone interviews with a random sample of 348 individuals who were 70 and older, had been screened for mild cognitive impairment and lived in one of the 64 Arkansas counties designated as nonmetropolitan. Results: Multivariate analyses found that African American respondents had greater IADL disability, poorer self-rated health status, greater number of errors on the cognitive screener, and more chronic health conditions. Further multivariate analyses found that African American men and African Americans with less than a ninth grade education had poorer health status outcomes, except for ADL disability. Discussion: Clinicians and policy makers should consider racial discrepancies in functional health status in determining medical and social service needs for seniors who ae cognitively impaired and reside in rural settings. Keywords: Dementia, ethnicity, rural, African American

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