The Influence of Race and Education on the Rate of Aging

Morgan Levine, University of Southern California

The rate of functional and structural decline associated with the aging process is marked by significant heterogeneity within the population, manifesting as differences in disease susceptibility and longevity. Such health disparities are believed to be highly influenced by environmental differences, particularly between individuals of varying socioeconomic status and race. The current study uses data from NHANES III, a nationally representative sample to examine differences in aging rates by race and education for adults ages 30-75. Findings from this study suggest that black individuals or those with low education are more likely to experience an acceleration of the aging process. Furthermore, we found that low educated blacks may be at the highest risk and that having a college degree among blacks does not provide as great a health benefit as it does for white individuals with the same educational attainment.

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Presented in Poster Session 7