Advances in Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Health Disparities in Aging Minorities

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Race and Ethnicity | Translational Medical Research


Purpose of Review: The purpose was to discuss appropriate methods for advancing our understanding of health disparities or minority aging including life-course perspectives, biological measures, pain measurement, and generational approaches. Recent Findings: Life course perspectives provide an orientation for studying older minorities that concomitantly captures exposures and stressors that may lead to earlier onset of disease and premature mortality. The use of biological markers to study health disparities in older minorities is necessary in order to identify pathways between psychosocial factors and health outcomes. Work focusing on pain disparities should include explorations of relationships between psychosocial factors, and subjective and objective measures of pain. Studying families can provide insight into genetic associations and coping styles in older minorities. Summary: Methodological approaches that take life course, biology, and social factors into account may help identify causal pathways between social determinants of health and health outcomes among older minorities. Once these causal pathways have been identified, more strategies and interventions that strive toward health equity across older adults of all race/ethnic groups can be developed.


Aging, Health Disparities, Minority, UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Forrester SN, Taylor JL, Whitfield KE, Thorpe RJ Jr. Advances in Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Health Disparities in Aging Minorities. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2020 Jun;7(2):59-67. doi: 10.1007/s40471-020-00234-5. Epub 2020 Apr 29. PMID: 33868898; PMCID: PMC8045783. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current epidemiology reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID