Subsidized housing not subsidized health: health status and fatigue among elders in public housing and other community settings

TitleSubsidized housing not subsidized health: health status and fatigue among elders in public housing and other community settings
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsParsons, PL, Mezuk, B, Ratliff, S, Lapane, KL
JournalEthn Dis
KeywordsDemographics, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Housing, Income, Methodology, Other

OBJECTIVES: To estimate trends in the prevalence of fatigue among elders living in public housing or in the community; to compare health status of elders living in public housing to their community-dwelling counterparts. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Community-dwelling elders who reported ever residing in public housing were compared to those living in other community settings. PARTICIPANTS: Participants of the Health and Retirement Study (seven waves of interviews conducted from 1995 through 2006) interviewed in 2006 with complete data on housing status, self-report measures of health status and measures of functioning (n = 16,191). MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported fatigue, functioning, and other health conditions. We also evaluated four functional indices: overall mobility, large muscle functioning, gross motor functioning, and fine motor functioning. RESULTS: Those reporting having lived in public housing were twice as likely to rate their health as fair or poor relative to those with no public housing experience (57.3 vs 26.9 , respectively). Cardiac conditions, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and psychiatric problems were all more prevalent in those living in public housing relative to community-dwelling elders not living in public housing. Fatigue was more prevalent in persons residing in public housing (26.7 ) as compared to other community-dwelling elders (17.8 ). CONCLUSION: The health status of persons residing in public housing is poor. Fatigue and comorbid conditions are highly prevalent and more common in those living in public housing. Developing care models that meet the needs of this oft-neglected population is warranted.


Parsons, Pamela L Mezuk, Briana Ratliff, Scott Lapane, Kate L K12 HD055881/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States UL1 RR031990-01/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States UL1RR031990/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States Comparative Study Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural United States Ethnicity and disease Nihms287854 Ethn Dis. 2011 Winter;21(1):85-90.

Endnote Keywords

Chronic Disease/epidemiology/Chronic Disease/epidemiology/Comorbidity/Cross-Sectional Studies/Fatigue/ epidemiology/Fatigue/ epidemiology/Female/Health Status Disparities/Humans/Poverty/Prevalence/Public Housing/Public Housing/United States/epidemiology/United States/epidemiology

Endnote ID


Citation Key7654
PubMed ID21462736
PubMed Central IDPMC3111957