Age, race, and gender factors in incident disability

Mini E. Jacob, Megan M. Marron, Robert M. Boudreau, Michelle C. Odden, Alice M. Arnold, Anne B. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Incident disability rates enable the comparison of risk across populations. Understanding these by age, sex, and race is important for planning for the care of older adults and targeting prevention. Methods: We calculated incident disability rates among older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a study of 5,888 older adults aged = 65 years over 6 years of follow-up. Disability was defined in the following two ways: (i) self-report of disability (severe difficulty or inability) in any of six Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and (ii) mobility difficulty (any difficulty walking half a mile or climbing 10 steps). Incident disability rates were calculated as events per 100 person years for age, gender, and race groups. Results: The incidence of ADL disability, and mobility difficulty were 2.7 (2.5-2.8), and 9.8 (9.4-10.3) events per 100 person years. Women, older participants, and blacks had higher rates in both domains. Conclusion: Incidence rates are considerably different based on the domain examined as well as age, race, and gender composition of the population. Prevention efforts should focus on high risk populations and attempt to ameliorate factors that increase risk in these groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Disablement process
  • Health disparities
  • Minority aging
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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