|Title||The Association Between Cytomegalovirus and Disability by Race/Ethnicity and Gender: Results from the Health and Retirement Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Duchowny, KA, Noppert, GA|
|Journal||American Journal of Epidemiology|
|Keywords||Activities of Daily Living, Cytomegalovirus, Disability, Health Disparities, social epidemiology|
Recent studies have documented a decline in the overall prevalence of disability in the United States, however racial/ethnic and gender disparities continue to persist. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a socially patterned exposure, may be a key mechanism in understanding these previously documented disparities. Using data from the nationally-representative 2016 Health and Retirement Study, we employed Poisson log-binomial models to estimate the prevalence of disability comparing CMV seropositive versus seronegative adults and investigated effect modification by race/ethnicity and gender. Among the 9,029 participants (55% women, mean age: 67.4), 63% were CMV seropositive and 15% were disabled. CMV seropositivity was highest among non-Hispanic Black (88%) and Hispanic adults (92%) compared to non-Hispanic White adults (57%). We found evidence for effect modification of the CMV-disability by gender but not race/ethnicity. While the confidence intervals in the fully-adjusted models included the null value, compared to seronegative women, our results suggest a greater prevalence of disability among CMV seropositive women (PR= 1.16, 95% CI= 0.97, 1.39) but not among men (PR= 0.85, 95% CI= 0.69, 1.06). Results provide initial support that CMV may be an important determinant of gender disparities in disability.