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Inupiaq Elders study: aspects of aging among male and female elders

TitleInupiaq Elders study: aspects of aging among male and female elders
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSmith, J, Easton, PS, Saylor, BL
JournalInt J Circumpolar HealthInt J Circumpolar Health
Volume68
Pagination182-96
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number1239-9736 (Print)<br/>1239-9736 (Linking)
Accession Number19517877
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Age Factors, Aging, Arctic Regions, Body Mass Index, Diet, Female, Health Status, Humans, Inuits, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Rural Population, Sex Factors, Urban Population
AbstractOBJECTIVES: To determine if age and gender subsets of Inupiaq Elders living in urban and rural locations present different characteristics of self-reported health, physical and mental functioning, functioning of daily activities, body mass index, nutrient intake and food insecurity. STUDY DESIGN: Quantitative, comparative survey of 100 Inupiaq Elders, 52 living in 2 north-western Alaska communities, and 48 living in Anchorage. All participants were community-dwelling, non-institutionalized individuals. METHODS: Surveys were one-to-one in an oral conversational format using tested instruments. RESULTS: For all age groups, mean fat intake was 37%. Rural groups reported higher vitality scores. The most commonly reported physical limitation was walking. Rural males of 50-59 years reported the highest level of food insecurity, calorie intake and rates of smoking but also the highest SF-12 Mental Functioning Composite Scores (MCS) and Physical Functioning Scores (PCS). Of urban males 50-59, half reported hypertension, the highest percentage of all groups, and 41% reported eating less than 2 meals per day. Urban males > or = 60 years reported the highest number of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Females 50-59 reported the highest self-reported health status and the lowest depression scores. Older rural women > or = 60 years reported higher SF-12 MCS and SF-12 PCS than their urban cohorts, but reported the most Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Older urban women > or = 60 years had the lowest mean calorie intake. CONCLUSIONS: Rural Inupiaq villages provide positive environments for aging well. Reinforcing and enhancing services to assist Native Elders in rural locations might enhance their quality of aging more so than moving them to urban communities.
Ethno Med: