Objective: The objective of this study is to examine racial/ethnic differences in prevalence of chronic conditions and multimorbidities in the geriatric population of a state with diverse races/ethnicities.
Method: Fifteen chronic conditions and their dyads and triads were investigated using Hawaii Medicare 2012 data. For each condition, a multivariable logistic regression model was used to investigate differences in race/ethnicity, adjusting for subject characteristics.
Results: Of the 84,212 beneficiaries, 27.8% were Whites, 54.6% Asians, and 5.2% Hispanics. Racial/ethnic disparities were prevalent for most conditions. Compared with Whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Others showed significantly higher prevalence rates in hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and most dyads or triads of the chronic conditions. However, Whites had higher prevalence rates in arthritis and dementia.
Discussion: Race/ethnicity may need to be considered when making clinical decisions and developing health care programs to reduce health disparities and improve quality of life for older individuals with chronic conditions.
Keywords: Medicare; chronic condition; ethnicity; multimorbidity; race.