Pregnancy as a Risk Factor for Ambulatory Limitation in Later Life: Evidence from the Hispanic Established Population for Epidemiological Studies of the Elderly

Abigail R. A. Aiken, University of Texas at Austin
Jacqueline L. Angel, University of Texas at Austin
Toni Miles, University of Georgia

We investigate the relationship between gravidity (the number of times a woman has been pregnant) and walking difficulty in later life. Our data come from the Hispanic-EPESE, a representative population-based cohort of Mexican-Americans age 65+. Walking difficulty in this cohort is measured using two items from the performance-oriented mobility assessments (POMAs): the timed walk and seated chair-rise. We find that significantly higher rates of ambulatory limitation are observed among women with 6 or more pregnancies than among women with 4 or fewer pregnancies. Ordinal logistic regression models show that gravidity predicts level of performance in both mobility tasks, and that higher gravidity is associated with worse performance, even after adjustment for both age and chronic disease. We conclude that our study provides initial evidence for gravidity as a risk factor for ambulatory limitation in old age, and emphasize potential implications for public health researchers and practitioners.

  See paper

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