Black/White differences in the relationship between MMSE scores and disability: The Women's Health and Aging Study

Suzanne G. Leveille, Jack M. Guralnik, Luigi Ferrucci, M. Chiara Corti, Judith D. Kasper, Linda P Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine Black/White differences among older women in the relationship between physical functional difficulties and variations in cognitive status, measured within the low to high normal range of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). We studied 3,585 women with MMSE scores of lB and above from a population-based random sample of 3,841 community-dwelling women aged 65 and older living in East Baltimore, Maryland. Trained interviewers administered the MMSE and obtained information on demographics, medical conditions, and functional difficulties. Prevalence of any functional difficulty was 43.3% in Whites and 48.5% in Blacks, who were 25% of the study sample. After adjusting for age and education, a significant trend for increasing functional difficulty with decreasing MMSE scores was found in White women but not in Black women. Since no explanation for these racial differences could be identified, these findings suggest that the MMSE may not be a valid predictor of functional difficulty in Black women who score ≤18 on the instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume53
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

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Women's Health
disability
examination
health
Independent Living
Baltimore
random sample
hydroquinone
Reference Values
Demography
Interviews
Education
trend
interview
Population
community
education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Black/White differences in the relationship between MMSE scores and disability : The Women's Health and Aging Study. / Leveille, Suzanne G.; Guralnik, Jack M.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Corti, M. Chiara; Kasper, Judith D.; Fried, Linda P.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 53, No. 3, 1998.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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