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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 May;84(5):725-30.

The effect of diabetes combined with stroke on disability, self-rated health, and mortality in older Mexican Americans: results from the Hispanic EPESE.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Sealy Center on Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0460, USA.



To examine how diabetes in combination with stroke affects functional activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), self-rated health, and 5-year mortality in elderly Mexican Americans with or without other comorbid conditions.


Longitudinal study.


Five southwestern states.


A total of 3050 subjects of age 65 years or older, of whom 23% had diabetes and 6% had a stroke.


Not applicable.


ADL and IADL disabilities, self-rated health, and 5-year mortality.


Subjects with both diabetes and stroke but without other comorbid conditions had almost 18 times higher risk of having any ADL disability (odds ratio [OR]=18.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.3-105.2) and 10 times higher risk of having any IADL disability (OR=10.6; 95% CI, 1.1-101.5), compared with subjects without either of the 2 conditions. The risk of disability was further increased if the subject had a comorbid condition (hypertension, heart attack, cancer, hip fracture, arthritis). The risk of fair or poor self-rated health was 3.5 (95% CI, 1.4-8.6) and the hazard ratio for 5-year mortality was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.7-3.4) in people with both diseases.


Diabetes and stroke in combination is strongly associated with a higher risk of disabilities, poor self-rated health, and 5-year mortality in elderly Mexican Americans. The effect on outcomes appears to follow an additive model. Information on disability risk and morbidity and mortality should be useful to rehabilitation professionals in discharge planning and allocation of therapy resources.

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