Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 29–38

Racial Differences in Mortality in Older Adults: Factors Beyond Socioeconomic Status

Authors

    • Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Department of Health Policy and ManagementThe Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Annemarie Koster
    • Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life SciencesUniversiteit Maastricht
    • Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging
  • Hans Bosma
    • Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life SciencesUniversiteit Maastricht
  • Tamara B. Harris
    • Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging
  • Eleanor M. Simonsick
    • Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Department of MedicineJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
    • Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging
  • Jacques Th. M. van Eijk
    • Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life SciencesUniversiteit Maastricht
  • Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen
    • Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life SciencesUniversiteit Maastricht
  • Anne B. Newman
    • Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of Pittsburgh
  • Suzanne Satterfield
    • Department of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Tennessee College of Medicine
  • Susan M. Rubin
    • Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of California
  • Stephen B. Kritchevsky
    • Sticht Center on Aging, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric MedicineWake Forest University School of Medicine
  • for the Health ABC Study
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-011-9335-4

Cite this article as:
Thorpe, R.J., Koster, A., Bosma, H. et al. ann. behav. med. (2012) 43: 29. doi:10.1007/s12160-011-9335-4

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the simultaneous effect of socioeconomic status (SES), psychosocial, and health-related factors on race differences in mortality in older adults.

Purpose

This study examined the association between race and mortality and the role of SES, health insurance, psychosocial factors, behavioral factors, and health-related factors in explaining these differences.

Methods

Data consisted of 2,938 adults participating in the Health, Aging and Body Composition study. Mortality was assessed over 8 years.

Results

SES differences accounted for 60% of the racial differences in all-cause mortality; behavioral factors and self-rated health further reduced the disparity. The racial differences in coronary heart disease mortality were completely explained by SES. Health insurance and behavioral factors accounted for some, but not all, of the race differences in cancer mortality.

Conclusions

Race-related risk factors for mortality may differ by the underlying cause of mortality.

Keywords

RaceSESBehaviorPsychosocialMortalityOlder adultsAging

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011