Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (Hispanic EPESE), Waves I-IV, 1993-2001
Investigators: Kyriakos S. Markides & Laura A. Ray

The Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (Hispanic EPESE) project was funded in 1992 as part of a special initiative of the National Institute of Aging. There was a recognition at that time that while important epidemiologic data on elderly Non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans had become available through the Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) studies begun in the 1980's in East Boston, New Haven, North Carolina, and rural Iowa, comparable data were not available for Hispanic elderly. The investigators proposed such a study focusing on the Mexican American population of the Southwestern United States. The primary purpose of the study was to provide estimates of the prevalence of key physical health conditions, mental health conditions, and functional impairments in older Mexican Americans and compare these prevalences with those in other populations. In addition, the investigators wanted to study predictors and correlates of the health outcomes cross-sectionally.

Unlike the other EPESE studies that were restricted to small geographic areas, the Hispanic EPESE aimed to obtain a representative sample of community-dwelling Mexican American elderly residing in the five Southwestern states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California. Approximately 85% of Mexican American elderly reside in these states and the investigators were able to obtain data that are generalizable to roughly 500,000 older people (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990). The final sample size of 3,050 subjects at baseline is comparable to those of the other EPESE studies and is sufficiently large to provide stable estimates of most health characteristics of interest.

Louis Harris and Associates (now Harris Interactive, Inc.) acted as the data collection agent for the Hispanic EPESE. After extensive household identification and screening based on 1990 U.S. Census data, trained interviewers collected data on major chronic conditions, functional disabilities, mental health, family relations, migration history, access to health services, and related variables through personal household interviews with the subjects. The baseline interviews were conducted in 1993 and 1994; follow-up interviews of the same subjects were conducted at two (1995-1996), five (1998-1999), seven (2000-2001) and ten (2004-2005) years. Prior to the start of the ten-year follow-up, another 1,000 subjects aged 75 or older were added to the sample. Another subsequent follow-up began in 2006 and is ongoing at the time of this publication.

Sociometrics has archived data from the baseline interviews conducted in 1993 and 1994 (Wave I) as well as the first three follow up interviews ending in 2000 and 2001 (Waves II, III and IV) of the Hispanic EPESE. The set consists of data collected from 1,882 variables administered to 3,050 respondents.

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