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Tex Public Health J. 2017 Summer;69(3):12-15.

The Effects of Chronic Medical Conditions and Obesity on Self-Reported Disability in Older Mexican Americans.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health Science, California Baptist University, Riverside, California, USA.
Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA.
Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA.
Sealy Center on Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA.


We investigated the effect of chronic medical conditions including obesity on self-reported disability and mobility in Mexican Americans aged 75 or over using data from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (Hispanic EPESE) Wave 5 (2004-2005). Disability was assessed with a modified version of the Katz activities of daily living (ADL) scale and mobility was assessed with the Rosow Breslau scale of gross mobility function. The percentage of participants needing assistance with ADLs were as follows: 26.7% for transferring from a bed to chair, 26.6% for walking across a small room, 17.9% for dressing, 16.3% for using a toilet, 14.3% for grooming, and 8.2% for eating. Fifty percent reported limitation in the ability to walk ½ a mile and walking up and down stairs. Multivariate logistic regression analysis after controlling for all covariates showed that arthritis, diabetes, stroke, and obesity were significantly associated with any ADL limitation, walking up and down stairs, and walking 1/2 mile. Prevention of obesity and chronic medical conditions will help increase functional independence in this population.


ADL disability; Chronic Medical Conditions; Gross Mobility Function Aging; Obesity; Older Mexican Americans

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