Onset of Disability and Mortality in Older Adults in Mexico: The Role of Co-Morbidities

Cesar Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Instituto de Geriatría, México
Rafael Samper-Ternent, University of Texas Medical Branch
Rebeca Wong, University of Texas Medical Branch

This manuscript examines the effect of communicable and non-communicable diseases on disability transitions in older Mexican adults. Data for adults 50 years and older comes from both waves of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). All respondents included have no disability at baseline and transition into one of 4 groups: a) No disability in both waves, b) onset of disability, c) death, and d) lost to follow-up (LFU). At baseline 91.8% report having no disability; of this group, 87.4% reported no disability in 2003, 4.8% reported disability onset, 2.5% died, and 5.3% were LFU. Multivariate results suggest that type of disease has an effect on disability progression and transition to death, except for the group LFU. Comorbidity has a significant effect on mortality. We discuss how the predicted prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases impacts the burden of disability in countries like Mexico that are poor and aging fast.

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Presented in Session 26: Differentials in Late-Life Health