Impact of selected medical conditions on self-reported lower-extremity function in Mexican-American elderly

Jia Ma, Kyriakos S. Markides, Linda P. Perkowski, Christine A. Stroup-Benham, Michael Lichtenstein, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the independent impact of common medical conditions on lower-extremity function in Mexican-American elderly. Design: Cross-sectional study using a probability sample of non-institutionalized Mexican Americans aged 65 or older. Setting: The five Southwestern states, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and California. Participants: All subjects were interviewed in person (n=2,873) or by proxy (n=177) in their homes during late 1993 and early 1994. Main outcome measures: Respondents were asked whether they could perform four activities related to lower-extremity function without help: walking across a small room, getting from a bed to a chair, walking up and down stairs, and walking half a mile. A summary measure of lower body disability created from these four items was regressed on seven common medical conditions plus five control variables using multiple logistic regression. Results: Adjusted Odds Ratios (OR) suggested that impaired lower-extremity function was associated with previous diagnosis of hip fracture (OR=4.28), stroke (OR=3.47), lower extremity arthritis (OR=2.60), heart attack (OR=2.29), diabetes (OR=2.03) and obesity (OR=1.50). Impaired lower-extremity function was significantly associated with older age (75+ years old), gender (female) and marital status (unmarried). In addition, there was a linear increase in the risk of function loss by number of medical conditions. Conclusions: It appears that Mexican-American elderly diagnosed with medical conditions, especially stroke and hip fracture, have a high risk for lower-extremity dysfunction. These findings have implications for efforts to prevent or reduce lower-extremity dysfunction, as well as for the provision of community-based long-term care services for Mexican-American elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1998


  • Aging
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Hispanics
  • Mexican Americans
  • Physical Function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of selected medical conditions on self-reported lower-extremity function in Mexican-American elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this