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National Research Council (US) Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life; Bulatao RA, Anderson NB, editors. Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life: A Research Agenda. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.

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Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life: A Research Agenda.

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The Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life was established in 2001 under the auspices of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council (NRC). The panel's task was to inform the National Institute on Aging about recent research findings on racial and ethnic disparities in later life and to help in developing a future research agenda for reducing them. This project was a follow-up to a 1994 Committee on Population workshop, which resulted in a volume of papers published by the National Academy Press, Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older Americans.

The panel was asked, first to organize a 2-day workshop bringing together leading researchers from a variety of disciplines and professional orientations to summarize current research and to identify research priorities. That workshop was held in March 2002 in Washington, DC. The panel was also asked to produce a summary of the state of knowledge, based on the workshop, and to provide recommendations for further work. The initial plan called for the papers and the panel report to be published in a single volume, but ultimately it was decided to publish the papers and the panel report separately. This volume is the panel's final report. The workshop papers are available in a companion volume, Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life.

The panel benefited greatly from the workshop papers and thanks the following individuals for their contribution to the workshop and the resulting volume: Gary D. Sandefur, Mary E. Campbell, Jennifer Eggerling-Boeck, Robert A. Hummer, Maureen R. Benjamins, Richard G. Rogers, Jennifer J. Manly, Richard Mayeux, Clyde Hertzman, Alberto Palloni, Douglas Ewbank, Guillermina Jasso, Douglas S. Massey, Mark E. Rosenzweig, James P. Smith, Richard S. Cooper, Eileen M. Crimmins, Mark D. Hayward, Teresa E. Seeman, Carlos Mendes de Leon, Thomas A. Glass, Jeffrey D. Morenoff, John Lynch, Marilyn A. Winkleby, Catherine Cubbin, Hector F. Myers, Wei-Chin Hwang, Rodney Clark, Julian F. Thayer, Bruce H. Friedman, Amitabh Chandra, Jonathan S. Skinner, David M. Cutler, James Y. Nazroo, Debbie Bradshaw, Rosana Norman, Ria Laubscher, Michelle Schneider, Nolwazi Mbananga, and Krisela Steyn.

The panel met multiple times over the course of the project to plan and hold the workshop and to digest and interpret the presentations. This report reflects the intense deliberations of the full panel, based on the papers and the members' own expertise.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Stuart H. Altman, National Health Policy, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University; Lisa Berkman, School of Public Health, Harvard University; Janet Currie, Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles; Mark D. Hayward, Social Science Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University; Judith R. Lave, Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; Spero Manson, American Indian and Alaska Native Programs, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO; Kyriakos S. Markides, Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX; Thomas G. McGuire, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School; Gary D. Sandefur, Department of Sociology, Institute of Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Kenneth W. Wachter, Department of Demography, University of California, Berkeley.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Larry Bumpass, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Harold C. Sox, Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

The panel is grateful to the sponsors of the project, the National Institute of Aging and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Besides providing funding, the representatives of these organizations were a valuable source of information and advice to the panel.

The panel was fortunate to have the services of the study director, Randy Bulatao, who worked closely with panel members to draft and edit the report. Barney Cohen, director of the Committee on Population, oversaw the work and managed the final stages of the process. Special thanks are due to Christine Covington Chen for her superb administrative and logistic support, to Eugenia Grohman for skillfully editing the manuscript, to Kirsten Sampson Snyder for navigating the report through review, and to Anthony Mann and Yvonne Wise for preparing the final manuscript for publication.

Norman B. Anderson, Chair

Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life

Copyright © 2004, National Academies.
Bookshelf ID: NBK24697


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