Ethnic-based differences in the association of self-perceived health status and doctor's office utilization: longitudinal study on aging
Nisser Umar1, Muktar H Aliyu2, Jane Otado1, Richard F Gillum1, Thomas O Obisesan1
1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC; 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether self-perceived health status is predictive of a doctor's office visit in the Longitudinal Study on Aging (LSOA).
Methods: This was a population-based longitudinal study of persons aged ≥70 years who participated in the Study on Aging in 1984 and a follow-up survey of the LSOA in 1986. The cohort for the study consisted of 560 blacks and 6880 whites who were 70 years or older in 1984. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed separately for blacks and for whites.
Results: The study sample was predominantly Caucasian (91.2%) with a mean age 76.8 ± 5.5 years and mean education grade 10 ± 3.7. The majority (82%) lived above the poverty level. Self-reported poor health status predicted the use of doctor's office services among whites (odds ratio [OR] 5.15; 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.34–7.95), but not in blacks (OR 1.6; 95% CI 0.54–4.76).
Conclusion: Self-perceived health status predicted the use of doctor's office services among older whites but not in older blacks in the LSOA.
Keywords: self-perceived health status, physician office visits, health services utilization, LSOA, elderly
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