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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Household and neighborhood conditions partially account for associations between education and physical capacity in the National Health and Aging Trends Study

TitleHousehold and neighborhood conditions partially account for associations between education and physical capacity in the National Health and Aging Trends Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSamuel, LJ, Glass, TA, Thorpe, R. J., J, Szanton, SL, Roth, DL
JournalSoc Sci Med
Volume128
Pagination67-75
Date PublishedMar
ISBN Number0277-9536
Accession Number25594954
Abstract

Socioeconomic resources, such as education, prevent disability but are not readily modifiable. We tested the hypothesis that household and neighborhood conditions, which may be modifiable, partially account for associations between education and physical capacity in a population-based sample of older adults. The National Health and Aging Trends Study measured education (/=Bachelor's), household and neighborhood conditions, using a 16-item environmental checklist and a 3-item social cohesion scale, and physical capacity with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), grip strength and peak expiratory flow. Structural equation models were used to decompose total educational effects into direct effects and indirect effects via household and neighborhood conditions, using sample weights and adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, BMI, self-reported health, and number of medical conditions in 6874 community-dwelling participants. Education was directly associated with SPPB scores (beta = 0.055, p < 0.05) and peak flow (beta = 0.095, p < 0.05), but not grip strength. Also, indirect effects were found for household disorder with SPPB scores (beta = 0.013, p < 0.05), grip strength (beta = 0.007, p < 0.05), and peak flow (beta = 0.010, p < 0.05). Indirect effects were also found for street disorder with SPPB scores (beta = 0.012, p < 0.05). Indirect effects of household and neighborhood conditions accounted for approximately 35%, 27% and 14% of the total association between education and SPPB scores, grip strength level, and peak expiratory flow level, respectively. Household disorder and street disorder partially accounted for educational disparities in physical capacity. However, educational disparities in SPPB scores and peak expiratory flow persisted after accounting for household and neighborhood conditions and chronic conditions, suggesting additional pathways. Interventions and policies aiming to support aging in place should consider addressing household-level and street-level disorder.

PMCID

Pmc4323727