INTRODUCTION: Older Mexican Americans are living longer with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). This has placed greater demands on caregivers to assist with basic activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). To understand the needs of older Mexican-American care recipients, we examined the impact of MCC on ADL and IADL limitations.
METHODS: We analyzed data from 485 Mexican American care-receiving/caregiving dyads. Selected MCCs in the analysis were diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cognitive impairment, depression, and cancer. Care recipients were dichotomized as having 3 or more conditions or as having 2 or fewer conditions. Three comorbidity clusters were established on the basis of the most prevalent health conditions among participants with comorbid arthritis and hypertension. These clusters included arthritis and hypertension plus: diabetes (cluster 1), cognitive impairment (cluster 2), and heart disease (cluster 3).
RESULTS: Care recipients with 3 or more chronic conditions (n = 314) had higher odds of having mobility limitations (OR = 1.98; 95% CI, 1.34-2.94), self-care limitations (OR = 2.53; 95% CI, 1.70-3.81), >3 ADL limitations (OR = 2.00; 95% CI, 1.28-3.17), and >3 IADL limitations (OR = 1.88; 95% CI, 1.26-2.81). All clusters had increased odds of ADL and severe ADL limitations. Of care recipients in cluster 2, those with arthritis, hypertension, and cognitive impairment had significantly higher odds of mobility limitations (OR = 2.33; 95% CI, 1.05-5.24) than those with just arthritis and hypertension.
CONCLUSION: MCCs were associated with more ADL and IADL limitations among care recipients, especially for those with hypertension and arthritis plus diabetes, cognitive impairment, or heart disease. These findings can assist in developing programs to meet the needs of older Mexican-American care recipients.