Racial Differences in Life Expectancy with Cognitive Impairment among the Elderly in the United States

Zhenmei Zhang, Michigan State University
Chi-Tsun Chiu, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore
Yan-Liang Yu, Michigan State University

Do blacks spend longer years and great proportion of their lives with cognitive impairment than whites? In this study, using data from 7 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2010), we analyzed racial differences in the transition probabilities among three states: cognitively normal, cognitively impaired, and death among 9,044 non-Hispanic whites and blacks aged 65 and older. The SPACE program is used to estimate life expectancies with and without cognitive impairment for four groups: white men, black men, white women, and black women. Our preliminary results show that older blacks are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment than whites at baseline, and they are also significantly more likely to experience cognitive impairment during the 12-year follow-up. Our paper will be the first attempt to produce important statistics about life expectancy with and without cognitive impairment by race and gender in the United States.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity