Predictors of recovery in activities of daily living among disabled older Mexican Americans

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Background and aims: Although functional ability decreases with age and is associated with poor health outcomes, decline in functional ability is reversible. The aim of this study is to describe the rate of recovery of functional ability and to identify factors associated with it over a two-year period among older Mexican Americans. Methods: 245 functionally disabled older Mexican Americans were included in a two-year prospective cohort study. Data are from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE), a population-based study of non-institutionalized Mexican Americans in the South-western United States. Activities of daily living (ADL), lower body mobility (tandem balance, eight-foot walk, and repeated chair stands), depressive symptomatology, body mass index, and self-reported medical conditions were obtained. Results: Over a two-year period, of the 245 subjects at baseline who reported functional disability in at least 1 of 7 ADLs, 83 totally recovered their ADL ability, 108 remained disabled, 36 died, and 18 were lost to follow-up. Factors significantly associated with recovery included younger age (65-74) (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.08-4.42), higher summary performance measure of lower body function (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.05-1.34), few depressive symptoms (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.39-5.78), and a BMI ≥30 Kg/m2 (OR 3.08, 95% CI 1.17-8.07). Higher numbers of ADL limitations at baseline were associated with lower odds of ADL recovery. Conclusions: Two-year recovery from ADL disability among older Mexican Americans was high (33.9%). Factors independently associated with recovery include younger age, few depressive symptoms, good lower body function, and high BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • ADL
  • Functional disability
  • Mexican Americans
  • Older people
  • Predictors of recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging


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