Mortality risk in older inner-city African Americans

Theodore K. Malmstrom, Elena M. Andresen, Fredric D. Wolinsky, J. Philip Miller, Kathryn Stamps, Douglas K. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To investigate mortality risks in a sample of poor, inner-city-dwelling, older African Americans. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: St. Louis, Missouri. PARTICIPANTS: Six hundred twenty-two African Americans aged 68 to 102 at the time of their 1992 to 1994 baseline interviews. MEASUREMENTS: Risk factors previously identified in the literature were examined for seven categories: demographic, socioeconomic, psychosocial, biomedical, disability and physical function, perceived health, and health services utilization. Vital status was ascertained through 2002. RESULTS: Three hundred eighty-six subjects (62.1%) were deceased and 236 were alive (mortality higher than in matched controls). Significant risks for mortality were older age, male sex, annual income less than $10,000, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, dependencies in lower-body function, and number of physician visits in the 12 months before baseline. CONCLUSION: In addition to improving the risk factors for stroke and malignant disease in this population, studies focused on improving lower-body functioning may be warranted as a part of efforts aimed at enhancing longevity in older African-American adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1055
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • African Americans
  • Disease
  • Health services utilization
  • Lower-body disability
  • Mortality


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