Author(s): Menec VH, Shooshtari S, Lambert P
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Abstract The objectives of this study were to examine whether self-rated health differs among older adults of different ethnic backgrounds and to explore what factors may account for potential differences. The study was based on the 1983 and 1996 waves of the Aging in Manitoba study. A self-report measure of ethnic background was used to categorize participants into four groups: British/Canadian, Northern/Central European, Eastern European, and Other. In both 1983 and 1996, older Eastern European adults had significantly reduced odds of rating their health as good or excellent relative to British/Canadian adults. Controlling for demographic variables, socioeconomic status, language spoken, and health status attenuated but did not eliminate the difference. Global, subjective ratings of health are frequently used to measure health. The ethnic differences found here suggest, however, that ratings may be influenced by cultural factors, which may warrant some caution in making comparisons across ethnic groups.
This article was published in J Aging Health
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research