Predictors of Mobility Limitation Recovery among Late Midlife Adults

Kenzie Latham, University of Michigan

Mobility limitation, defined as difficulty walking, is prevalent among older adults and an important predictor of institutionalization, disability, and mortality. This research explores predictors of mild mobility limitation recovery and is particularly interested in the role of sociodemographic characteristics and modifiable risk factors (MRF). Utilizing Waves 3-9 (1996-2008) of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), discrete-time event history models with multiple competing events were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. There was evidence to suggest that racial/ethnic minorities experienced recovery from mild mobility limitation more often than Whites. Additionally, respondents in the highest income quartile were more likely to recover than those in the lowest. Among MRFs, physical activity was associated with greater odds of recovery, while current smoking status and obesity were associated with lower odds of recovery. This research highlights the potential of MRFs for intervention and increasing the rates of recovery from mild mobility limitation among older adults.

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Presented in Session 78: Trends and Trajectories in Health and Disability