Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Education, income and disability in African Americans

TitleEducation, income and disability in African Americans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsThorpe, R. J., J, Szanton, SL, Bell, CN, Whitfield, KE
JournalEthnicity & Disease
Date PublishedWinter
ISBN Number1049-510X (Print)1049-510X (Linking)
Accession Number23495616
KeywordsAdult, African Americans, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Disabled Persons/ statistics & numerical data, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Social Class, Young Adult

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the association between SES and disability vary by age in African Americans. METHODS: Logistic regression models were conducted to estimate the association between SES and disability by age group in 395 African Americans participating in the Carolina African American Twin Study of Aging. Disability was defined as difficulty in performing at least one of seven basic activities of daily living. Education and family income were used as measures of SES. Age was categorized as individuals aged < 49 years and aged > or = 50 years. RESULTS: After adjusting for demographic and health-related characteristics among older adults, a higher odds of disability was associated with no post-secondary education (OR = 3.09, 95% CI: 1.24-7.71), and with low-income (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.17-6.43) compared to more educated or affluent people, respectively. No association between SES and disability was observed in young adults. When considering the combined effect of no post-secondary education and low-income on disability, older adults with no post-secondary education had a greater odds of being disabled (OR = 2.63, 95% CI: 1.03-6.73) relative to those with a post-secondary education controlling for covariates. CONCLUSIONS: The findings demonstrate the advantage of disentangling the confounding of race and SES as an initial step to understanding the relationship among age, SES and disability in African Americans.