Life-space mobility in Mexican Americans aged 75 and older

Soham Al Snih, Kristen M. Peek, Patricia Sawyer, Kyriakos S. Markides, Richard M. Allman, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objectives To examine the factors associated with life-space mobility in older Mexican Americans. Design Cross-sectional study involving a population-based survey. Setting Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly survey conducted in the southwestern of United States (Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and California). Participants Seven hundred twenty-eight Mexican-American men and women aged 75 and older. Measurements Sociodemographic factors, self-reported physician diagnoses of medical conditions (arthritis, diabetes mellitus, heart attack, stroke, hip fracture, and cancer), depressive symptoms, cognitive function, body mass index (BMI), upper and lower extremity muscle strength, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), activities of daily living (ADLs), and the life-space assessment (LSA) were assessed in in-home interviews. Results The mean age of participants was 84.2 ± 4.2. Sixty-five percent were female. Mean LSA score was 41.7 ± 20.9. Multiple regression analysis showed that older age, being female, limitation in ADLs, stroke, high depressive symptoms, and a BMI index of 35 kg/m 2 and greater were significantly associated with lower LSA scores. Education and better lower extremity function and muscle strength were factors significantly associated with higher LSA scores. Conclusion Older Mexican Americans had restricted life-space, with approximately 80% limited to their home or neighborhood. Older age, female sex, stroke, high depressive symptoms, BMI of 35 kg/m 2 or greater, and ADL disability were related to less life-space. Future studies are needed to examine the association between life-space and health outcomes and to characterize the trajectory of life-space over time in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-537
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Mexican American
  • life-space
  • mobility
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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