Race and health disparities among seniors in urban areas in Brazil

Antonio J. Trujillo, John A. Vernon, Laura Rodriguez Wong, Gustavo Angeles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: This article examines racial health disparities among the elderly in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It also explores whether these disparities differ among income groups. Methods: The study follows the conceptual framework developed by LaVeist (1994). A multistage analysis and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition are used to explore the sources of racial disparities in health. Results: White seniors report better health than Black seniors. This is the case even after controlling for baseline health conditions and several demographic, socioeconomic, and family support characteristics. Discussion: This article suggests that the two most important factors driving racial disparities in health among seniors are historical differences in rural living conditions and current income. Present economic conditions are more relevant to racial disparities among poor than among rich seniors. Racial differences in health not attributable to observable characteristics are more important when comparing individuals in the upper half of the income distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-37
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brazil
  • Health disparities
  • Race
  • SABE data set
  • Sao Paulo
  • Seniors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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