From Noise to Signal: The Age and Social Patterning of Intra-Individual Variability in Late-Life Health.

TitleFrom Noise to Signal: The Age and Social Patterning of Intra-Individual Variability in Late-Life Health.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLin, J, Kelley-Moore, JA
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Volume72
Issue1
Pagination168-179
Date Published2017 Jan
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, cognitive aging, Cognitive Dysfunction, Disability Evaluation, Female, Health Behavior, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Individuality, Male, Middle Aged, Minority Groups, Models, Statistical, Multilevel Analysis, Reference Values, Sex Characteristics, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic factors
Abstract

<p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>Despite a long tradition of attending to issues of intra-individual variability in the gerontological literature, large-scale panel studies on late-life health disparities have primarily relied on average health trajectories, relegating intra-individual variability over time to random error terms, or "noise." This article reintegrates the systematic study of intra-individual variability back into standard growth curve modeling and investigates the age and social patterning of intra-individual variability in health trajectories.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Using panel data from the Health and Retirement Study, we estimate multilevel growth curves of functional limitations and cognitive impairment and examine whether intra-individual variability in these two health outcomes varies by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, using level-1 residuals extracted from the adjusted growth curve models.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>For both outcomes, intra-individual variability increases with age. Racial/ethnic minorities and individuals with lower socioeconomic status tend to have greater intra-individual variability in health. Relying exclusively on average health trajectories may have masked important "signals" of life course health inequality.</p><p><b>DISCUSSION: </b>The findings contribute to scientific understanding of the source of heterogeneity in late-life health and highlight the need to further investigate specific life course mechanisms that generate the social patterning of intra-individual variability in health status.</p>

URLhttp://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/08/26/geronb.gbv081.abstract
DOI10.1093/geronb/gbv081
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26320123?dopt=Abstract

Endnote Keywords

Health disparities/Intra-individual variability/Multilevel growth curves/Residuals

Endnote ID

999999

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key6448
PubMed ID26320123
PubMed Central IDPMC5156487