Impact of selected medical conditions on self-reported lower-extremity function in Mexican-American elderly.Ethn Dis. 1998 Winter; 8(1):52-9.ED
To examine the independent impact of common medical conditions on lower-extremity function in Mexican-American elderly.
Cross-sectional study using a probability sample of non-institutionalized Mexican Americans aged 65 or older.
The five Southwestern states, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and California.
All subjects were interviewed in person (n = 2,873) or by proxy (n = 177) in their homes during late 1993 and early 1994.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Respondents were asked whether they could perform four activities related to lower-extremity function without help: walking across a small room, getting from a bed to a chair, walking up and down stairs, and walking half a mile. A summary measure of lower body disability created from these four items was regressed on seven common medical conditions plus five control variables using multiple logistic regression.
Adjusted Odds Ratios (OR) suggested that impaired lower-extremity function was associated with previous diagnosis of hip fracture (OR = 4.28), stroke (OR = 3.47), lower extremity arthritis (OR = 2.60), heart attack (OR = 2.29), diabetes (OR = 2.03) and obesity (OR = 1.50). Impaired lower-extremity function was significantly associated with older age (75+ years old), gender (female) and marital status (unmarried). In addition, there was a linear increase in the risk of function loss by number of medical conditions.
It appears that Mexican-American elderly diagnosed with medical conditions, especially stroke and hip fracture, have a high risk for lower-extremity dysfunction. These findings have implications for efforts to prevent or reduce lower-extremity dysfunction, as well as for the provision of community-based long-term care services for Mexican-American elderly.