US trends in disability and institutionalization among older Blacks and Whites

Am J Public Health. 1997 Mar;87(3):438-40. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.3.438.


Objectives: This study estimated and compared the prevalence of disability and institutionalization in 1982, 1984, and 1989 among the older Black and White populations of the United States.

Methods: Data on over 1100 Blacks and 14,000 Whites in each of a series of three National Long Term Care Surveys were used.

Results: Diverging trends for Blacks and Whites led to statistically significant increases in the age- and sex-adjusted odds of disability (19%) and institutionalization (31%) for Blacks relative to Whites.

Conclusions: Black and White disparities in disability appear to have widened, while disparities in institutionalization appear to have narrowed during the decade of the 1980s.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology