Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older by Committee on Population, National Research Council

By Committee on Population, National Research Council

Revised papers initially offered at a workshop held December 1994 in Washington, D.C. Softcover.

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They find that Hispanics and blacks have a higher age-adjusted prevalence of dementia than non-Hispanic whites. However, in a multivariate analysis that controls for education and sex, ethnic and racial differences are not statistically significant. They propose three hypotheses for the relation of education to dementia: (1) that education is curtailed relatively early owing to precursors of dementia, and thus there is reverse causation; (2) that low educational attainment is associated with other deprivations that are related to dementia; and (3) that education builds and maintains a robust neurobiological structure.

SOLDO, Department of Demography, Georgetown University MARTA TIENDA,** Population Research Center, University of Chicago AMY O. TSUI,** Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JOHN HAAGA, Director BARNEY COHEN, Program Officer TRISH DeFRISCO, Senior Project Assistant KAREN FOOTE, Program Officer (through May 1996) JOEL ROSENQUIST, Senior Project Assistant * deceased October 1996 ** through October 1996 Page iv CONTRIBUTORS RONALD J. ANGEL, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin LISA F.

Projections based on recent trends in life expectancy and immigration show that the Hispanic origin and ''other race" (Asian/Pacific Islanders; and American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut) populations aged 65 and over in the United States will each increase elevenfold by the middle of the next century. The black elderly population is expected to more than triple, while the white non-Hispanic population will just double. White non-Hispanic persons were 87 percent of the population aged 65 and over in 1990, but they will be 67 percent of the much larger population aged 65 and over in the year 2050 (Hobbs, 1996).

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