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J Hosp Mark Public Relations. 2009 Jul-Dec;19(2):101-12. doi: 10.1080/15390940903041534.

Disparities in disability among non-Hispanic black elders: results from the National Interview Survey 2001-2003.

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  • 1Lewis School of Business, Marshall University, Charleston, West Virginia 25303, USA.


A drastically increasing elderly population and disparity among disability poses a concern for the U.S. health care industry. This retrospective cross-sectional study analyzed whether ADL and IADL disabilities were different among non-Hispanic white (NHW) and non-Hispanic black (NHB) populations age 65 and over. Data was retrieved from the 2001-2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for comparing NHBs and NHWs using chi-square analysis for bivariate comparisons. For both elderly NHBs and elderly NHWs, increased rates of disability were reported for being over 75, female, single, and having lower education. NHBs reported statistically higher disability rates for ADL, IADL, and for any disability, with 10.0%, 18.0%, and 19.3%, respectively, compared to NHWs. There is a need to increase the access for NHBs to nursing home, hospice, and assisted-living facilities. Of further concern is the finding of lower institutionalization rates in the NHB population despite the significant presence of increased disability. The growing NHB elderly population needs an urgent societal intervention to address the persistent disparity, which has been neglected for so many years.

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