Data from the Southwestern sample of the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (Hispanic HANES) were employed to investigate the association of socioeconomic variables with the health status of middle-aged (aged 45 to 59) and older (aged 60 and over) Mexican Americans. The most significant and consistent predictor of health status was employment. Less acculturated men had poorer self-assessed health; married men were more likely to have been hospitalized during the year prior to the interview, while less acculturated women were less likely to have been hospitalized (other things equal). Analysis involving interaction terms showed more significant associations in middle aged than in older respondents, but only among men. Implications related to a selective survival thesis are discussed along with directions for future research.
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