Racial disparities in health care access and cardiovascular disease indicators in black and white older adults in the health ABC study

Ronica N. Rooks, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Lisa M. Klesges, Anne B. Newman, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Tamara B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Black adults consistently exhibit higher rates of and poorer health outcomes due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) than other racial groups, independent of differences in socioeconomic status (SES). Whether factors related to health care access can further explain racial disparities in CVD has not been thoroughly examined. Method: Using logistic regression, the authors examined racial and health care (i.e., health insurance and access to care) associations with CVD indicators (i.e., hypertension, low ankle-arm index, and left ventricular hypertrophy) in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study, a longitudinal study of well-functioning older adults. Results: Older Black versus White adults had significantly worse health care. Overall, health care reduced the significant association between being Black and CVD only slightly, while race remained strongly associated with CVD after adjusting for demographics, SES, body mass index, and comorbidity. Discussion: Research on health care quality may contribute to our understanding of these disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-614
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Access to care
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Health insurance
  • Racial disparities
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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