Functional Status

The self-reported physical and functional disability questions from NHANES III included:

  • Lower Extremity Function
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
  • Needing help with personal and routine daily activities
  • Use of assistive devices for walking

Mexican American men and women reported significantly more disability (p <.01) than NHW men and women (Ostchega, Harris, Hirsch, Parson, Kington, 2000). Disability was greatest for Mexican American women suggesting they represent a particularly vulnerable population.

Hispanics from the San Luis Valley Health and Aging Study reported more ADL limitations than non-Hispanic white, however, there was no excess of observed functional difficulties (Hamman, Mulgrew, & Baxter, 1999). This study also examined Hispanic vs. NHW patterns of needing assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and found that Hispanics were 1.6 times more likely to need assistance with at least one task (95% CI 1.25-2.13) (Shetterly, Baxter, & Morgenstern, 1998).