Information on state of health, nutrition, risk factors and selected chronic diseases, e.g. diabetes and ischemic heart disease, functional and mental (dementia, depression) disability, and utilization of medical and community resources by elderly Hispanics in the Southwest is very limited. A survey is proposed that will randomly select, using HCFA Medicare listings, a sample of 1 000 + Hispanics over age 65 years and a comparable number of non-Hispanic whites who will be approached about completing short questionnaire defining heritage and other basic demographic information. A home visit by bilingual Nurse Practitioner will be arranged to complete this information along with an Iowa Self Assessment Inventory. Participants identified with 75% or more Hispanic or non-Hispanic white heritage will be invited to visit a mobile examination unit for completion of a series of interviews, examinations and procedures. Sequentially 300 male and 300 female Hispanics and identical numbers of non-Hispanic whites will be examined to include dietary intakes, anthropometric studies, functional assessment, test of cognitive and affective function, gait and balance, biochemical blood tests to include a glucose tolerance test, and an ECG. Financial compensation and a Cultural Sensitivity sub-committee will be utilized to enhance participation, especially by the Hispanic population which traditionally distrusts the medical enterprise. A steering committee with expertise from a number of disciplines (gerontology nutrition, body composition, epidemiology,biostatistics, cardiology, diabetes, rheumatology, sleep disorders, neuropsychology) has been recruited to guide development and conduct of the survey. At the completion of this survey, this population will be used to identify and recruit healthy elderly cohorts of Hispanic males and females for a longitudinal study similar to the current New Mexico Aging Process Study (NMAPS) funded by the National Institute on Aging and directed by Dr. Philip J. Garry. The NMAPS study which began in 1980 has followed over 300 elderly volunteers. The primary aim of this Study has been to examine the role of nutrition and resultant changes in body composition on the aging process and health status (organ function) of elderly individuals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Neuroscience, Behavior and Sociology of Aging Review Committee (NBSA)
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University of New Mexico
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