Aging and Health for Racial Minorities: An Analysis of the Double Jeopardy Hypothesis Using the California Health Interview Survey

Daisy C. Carreon, University of California, Irvine
Andrew Noymer, University of California, Irvine

Theoretical approaches to understanding minority aging, such as the double jeopardy hypothesis, have been inadequately studied and must be reconsidered given California’s aging and diversifying population structure. The hypothesis posits that minority elderly suffer a double disadvantage to health due to the interactive effects of age and race. Using data from the 2003 and 2005 waves of the California Health Interview Survey, we examine differences in the number of poor physical health days among five major racial and ethnic groups: African-Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, the Hispanic origin population, and non-Hispanic whites. Negative binomial regression analyses show that the number of unhealthy days increases more steeply for aging African-Americans and Hispanics compared to whites. Contrary to other studies testing for double jeopardy, we found support for the hypothesis using a quantifiable indicator for health-related quality of life.

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Presented in Poster Session 1