Get access

Ethnic/Race Differences in the Attrition of Older American Survey Respondents: Implications for Health-Related Research

Authors

  • Natalia A. Zhivan Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Global Health Systems and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
    • Address correspondence to Natalia A. Zhivan, Ph.D., Department of Global Health Systems and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1900, New Orleans, LA 70112; e-mail: nzhivan@tulane.edu.

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Alfonso Ang Ph.D.,

    1. Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hortensia Amaro Ph.D.,

    1. Institute on Urban Health Research, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • William A. Vega Ph.D.,

    1. School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kyriakos S. Markides Ph.D.

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
    Search for more papers by this author

  • [Corrections made after online publication 9/23/2011: Some highlighting that was in the submitted version of Table 2 of the article did not appear in the originally published version. These highlights are now included in the forms of bold, italic, and underlined text.]

Abstract

Objective

To compare models of attrition across race/ethnic groups of aging populations and discuss implications for health-related research.

Data Sources

The Health and Retirement Study (1992–2008).

Study Design

A competing risks model was estimated using a multinomial logit model when respondents faced competing types of risks, such as dying, being lost from the study, and nonresponse in some years for different groups of elderly. Key explanatory variables were foreign birth, health insurance, and health status.

Principal Findings

Variables describing foreign birth, health insurance, and health status differed in their prediction of attrition across ethnic groups of aging populations.

Conclusions

Differences in the predictors of attrition across ethnic groups of elderly could potentially lead to biased estimates in health-related research using longitudinal data sources.

Ancillary