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Race and Health Disparities among Seniors in Urban Areas in Brazil


Trujillo, Antonio J.; Vernon, John A.; Rodriguez Wong, Laura; & Angeles, Gustavo (2009). Race and Health Disparities among Seniors in Urban Areas in Brazil. Journal of Aging and Health, 21(1), 3-37.


Objectives: This article examines racial health disparities among the elderly in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It also explores whether these disparities differ among income groups.
Methods: The study follows the conceptual framework developed by LaVeist (1994). A multistage analysis and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition are used to explore the sources of racial disparities in health.
Results: White seniors report better health than Black seniors. This is the case even after controlling for baseline health conditions and several demographic, socioeconomic, and family support characteristics.
Discussion: This article suggests that the two most important factors driving racial disparities in health among seniors are historical differences in rural living conditions and current income. Present economic conditions are more relevant to racial disparities among poor than among rich seniors. Racial differences in health not attributable to observable characteristics are more important when comparing individuals in the upper half of the income distribution.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Aging and Health


Trujillo, Antonio J.
Vernon, John A.
Rodriguez Wong, Laura
Angeles, Gustavo