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National Research Council (US) Committee on Population; Martin LG, Soldo BJ, editors. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older Americans. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1997.

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Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older Americans.

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The Committee on Population was established in 1983 to bring the knowledge and methods of the population sciences to bear on major issues of science and public policy. The committee's work has increasingly dealt with the demography and health of aging populations. Together with the Committee on National Statistics and the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the Institute of Medicine, the committee sponsored a Workshop on Forecasting Survival, Health, and Disability in 1992. In December 1992, the committee organized a Workshop on Demography of Aging, which led to the publication of a volume of edited papers (Preston and Martin, 1995) that covered a range of topics, from household and family demography, to work and retirement, intergenerational transfers, and health. Two chapters in that volume, in particular, Medical Demography (Kenneth G. Manton and Eric Stallard) and Socioeconomic Differences in Adult Mortality and Health Status (Samuel H. Preston and Paul Taubman), pointed to the need for more in-depth analysis of racial and ethnic differences in health at older ages. This concern prompted the Committee, with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), to organize a workshop, held in Washington in December 1994, at which scholars from diverse health disciplines could present and discuss analyses and reviews. This volume includes revised versions of some of the papers originally presented at the workshop. They have benefited both from the discussion at the original workshop, for which we thank all the participants, and from later review, for which we thank the generous scholars who must remain anonymous.

The committee was very fortunate to have two members, Linda Martin and Beth Soldo, who devoted time and energy to planning the workshop, guiding authors in their revisions, and editing this volume.

We want to thank our colleagues who helped develop the 1994 workshop: Ronald Abeles (NIA), Jacob Feldman (National Center for Health Statistics), Samuel Preston (the immediate past chair of the committee), Burton Singer (Princeton University), Richard Suzman (NIA), and David Willis (NIA). Thanks also are due Robert Moffitt and James Smith, members of the committee who assisted with the review of the papers. We also appreciate the contributions of Michael McGinniss and Michael Stoto. Beyond his role on the organizing group, Richard Suzman was a catalyst, both intellectually and financially, and we are grateful to him and the National Institute on Aging for their support.

Finally, the staff of the Committee on Population were essential to this endeavor. Karen Foote was diligent and thorough in handling the organization of the workshop and the review process. Joel Rosenquist ably handled all the administrative tasks for the workshop and manuscript production. John Haaga, the committee director, provided supervision throughout and critical insight in the final stages of the project. Barbara White gave a helpful and thorough copyediting of the report.

Most of all, of course, we appreciate the contributions of the authors.

Ronald Lee

Chair, Committee on Population

Copyright © 1997, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK109833


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