This application seeks funds to conduct two in-person follow-ups of the Hispanic EPESE (Established Population for Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly), a longitudinal study of a representative sample of 3,050 Mexican Americans aged 65 and over residing in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California providing for a total of six contacts over a twelve-year period (1993-4, 1995-6, 1998-9, 2000-1, 2003-4, and 2005-6). We expect that at the first new follow-up (2003-4) we will be able to reinterview (in person or by proxy) at least 1,000 subjects, aged 75 and over. We also propose to add a sample of another 1,000 Mexican Americans aged 75 and over that has a higher average level of education than the surviving cohort. Our findings thus far have been based on a poorly educated cohort (mean of 5.1 years of education) from heavily Mexican American areas. With a better-educated and financially better off new sample, we will be better able to examine social class variation in our health outcomes of interest - mortality, physical function, emotional function, cognitive function and living arrangements/institutionalization. The combined cohort of 2,000 subjects interviewed during 2003-4 will be followed-up two years later in 2005-6.
Our specific aims grow out of our findings thus far (see Progress Report/Preliminary Studies). Additional follow-ups provide opportunities for examining longer-term changes. Diversifying our cohort of persons 75 and over will enable us to better understand the influence of socioeconomic and cultural variation on the lives and health of a rapidly growing segment of the population, Mexican Americans aged 75 and over. Such understanding is critical to planning services for subsequent cohorts of older Mexican Americans whose level of education is higher than current older Mexican Americans.
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