TABLE 1-2 Self-Rated Health and Activity Limitations, Pooled 1989-1994 Data

 

Male

Female

Racial or Ethnic Group

65-74

75-84

85+

65-74

75-84

85+

Self-Rated Health: Percent Fair or Poor

White

24.5

30.8

32.0

23.0

29.1

34.0

Black

41.3

47.3

51.4

41.0

45.8

46.2

Hispanic

a

a

a

a

a

a

Mexican

34.1

45.3

56.6

36.0

44.7

48.1

Other

30.0

34.6

40.3

32.0

41.7

44.9

Asian or Pacific Islander

18.2

17.4

a

20.9

35.0

a

American Indian and Alaska Native

35.4

51.0

a

34.2

40.5

a

Percent with Activity Limitations

White

35.0

39.5

49.6

32.8

41.0

60.8

Black

41.6

48.1

59.5

43.2

51.1

65.7

Hispanic

a

a

a

a

a

a

Mexican

39.3

38.4

70.8

39.9

41.4

57.2

Other

36.3

35.2

51.6

34.3

47.3

68.6

Asian or Pacific Islander

22.1

32.2

30.8

20.0

33.5

43.5

American Indian and Alaska Native

44.6

36.4

a

42.9

66.5

63.2

aToo few cases.

SOURCE: Hummer et al. (2004).

data come from different sources, and for the oldest groups they are fairly scanty. Self-reported health and disability estimates come from survey data—rather than being based on registration and census data—which exclude the institutionalized population and may miss 2-5 percent of decedents (Hummer et al., 2004). Some research suggests that, for cultural reasons, Hispanic immigrants may be more likely than others to report ill health, and their reports may be less predictive of subsequent mortality (Finch et al., 2002).

Diseases and Conditions

Reports of specific diseases and health conditions are more difficult to compare systematically across all groups than general health and disability. Some comparisons can be made, though the picture gets increasingly clouded. The 1998 National Health Interview Survey compares three groups—whites, blacks, and Hispanics—on selected diseases and conditions (Pleis and Coles, 2002). Table 1-3 shows the percentage of people aged 65 years and older in each group who report ever having been diagnosed with each condition.

Older blacks report a diagnosis of hypertension much more often than whites. This is true for both sexes, though such diagnoses are reported more



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