Demographic and Health Characteristics of Older Latino Birth Cohorts in the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleDemographic and Health Characteristics of Older Latino Birth Cohorts in the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGarcía, C, Garcia, MA, Ailshire, JA
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsDemographics, health, Latinos/Hispanics, Well-being

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Latinos are the fastest aging racial/ethnic minority group in the United States One limitation to understanding the diverse experiences of older Latinos is the lack of nationally representative data necessary to examine factors contributing to changes in population-level health over time. This is needed to provide a more comprehensive picture of the demographic characteristics that influence the health and well-being of older Latinos.

METHODS: We utilized the steady-state design of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 1992 to 2016 to examine the demographic and health characteristics of the five entry birth cohorts of older Latinos aged 51-56 (n=2,882). Adjusted Wald tests were used to assess statistically significant differences in demographic and health characteristics across the five HRS birth cohorts.

RESULTS: Cross-cohort comparisons of demographic and health characteristics of older Latinos indicate significant change over time, with later-born HRS birth cohorts less likely to identify as Mexican-origin, more likely to identify as a racial "other," and more likely to be foreign-born. In addition, we find that later-born cohorts are more educated and exhibit a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

DISCUSSION: Increasing growth and diversity among the older U.S. Latino population make it imperative that researchers document changes in the demographic composition and health characteristics of this population as it will have implications for researchers, policymakers, health care professionals, and others seeking to anticipate the needs of this rapidly aging population.

Citation Key12219
PubMed ID35092422