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Geriatric Conditions and Disability: The Health and Retirement Study

Christine T. Cigolle, MD, MPH; Kenneth M. Langa, MD, PhD; Mohammed U. Kabeto, MS; Zhiyi Tian, MA, MS; and Caroline S. Blaum, MD, MS
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From the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, and the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Center for Practice Management and Outcomes Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Note: An early version of this paper was presented at the 2004 Gerontological Society of America National Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Tisha L. Moore for her assistance with manuscript preparation and development of the tables.

Grant Support: By a John A. Hartford Foundation pilot grant to Dr. Cigolle and a John A. Hartford Foundation grant to the Society of General Internal Medicine (2002–0013). Dr. Cigolle was supported by a National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant (University of Michigan Institute of Gerontology) from the National Institute on Aging (5T32AG000114); by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging (1F32AG027649-01); and by the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. Dr. Langa was supported by a Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging (K08 AG19180) and a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars in Aging Research Award. Dr. Blaum was supported by the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center and a National Institute on Aging grant (R01:AG021493-01). The National Institute on Aging provided funding for the Health and Retirement Study (U01 AG09740), data from which were used in this study.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Christine T. Cigolle, MD, MPH, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 919, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Cigolle and Ms. Tian: University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 919, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Dr. Langa: University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 7E01, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Mr. Kabeto: University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 7B10-12, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Dr. Blaum: University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 914, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: C.T. Cigolle, M.U. Kabeto, C.S. Blaum.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: C.T. Cigolle, K.M. Langa, M.U. Kabeto, Z. Tian, C.S. Blaum.

Drafting of the article: C.T. Cigolle, C.S. Blaum.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: C.T. Cigolle, K.M. Langa, C.S. Blaum.

Final approval of the article: C.T. Cigolle, K.M. Langa, C.S. Blaum.

Statistical expertise: M.U. Kabeto, Z. Tian, C.S. Blaum.

Obtaining of funding: C.T. Cigolle, K.M. Langa, C.S. Blaum.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: C.S. Blaum.

Collection and assembly of data: C.T. Cigolle, M.U. Kabeto, Z. Tian.


Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(3):156-164. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-3-200708070-00004
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Table 1 shows the proportion of survey respondents in each age stratum, weighted to be representative of adults age 65 years or older in the United States in 2000, and the proportion of respondents in each stratum by number of geriatric conditions. Compared with persons who had no geriatric conditions, those with increasing numbers of conditions were older, female, from a minority ethnic group, and unmarried and had less education and a lower net financial worth. Appendix Table 1) shows the proportion of adults age 65 years or older with individual geriatric conditions. The prevalence rates of the individual conditions in the older adult population were similar to rates of chronic diseases. For example, the prevalence rates of injurious falls and urinary incontinence were 9.6% and 12.7%, respectively, compared with 9.2% for heart disease and 13.2% for diabetes.

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