Disabled older adults have been shown to be at risk for underutilization of some preventive services relative to able-bodied individuals. The Women's Health and Aging Study surveyed female Medicare enrollees in Baltimore, Maryland, who were among the most disabled community-dwelling women at the start of the study. Longitudinal survey data from the study were used to test for the existence or emergence of racial variation in influenza vaccination rates, for which racial variation has been shown in the general population. The primary analysis, using data on the same women before and after Medicare flu shot coverage began, suggested that influenza vaccination rates increased after Medicare coverage began and that there was no difference by race. A secondary analysis using data on women who were interviewed only after Medicare flu shot coverage began showed some racial variation, although the difference may have been larger prior to coverage. The utilization rate did not approach the Healthy People 2010 target.


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pp. 220-236
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