Time-location patterns of a diverse population of older adults: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air)

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The primary aim of this analysis was to present and describe questionnaire data characterizing time-location patterns of an older, multiethnic population from six American cities. We evaluated the consistency of results from repeated administration of this questionnaire and between this questionnaire and other questionnaires collected from participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air). Participants reported spending most of their time inside their homes (average: 121 h/week or 72%). More than 50% of the participants reported spending no time in several of the location options, including at home outdoors, at work/volunteer/school locations indoors or outdoors, or in “other” locations outdoors. We observed consistency between self-reported time-location patterns from repeated administration of the time-location questionnaire and compared with other survey instruments. Comparisons with national cohorts demonstrated the differences in time-location patterns in the MESA Air cohort due to differences in demographics, but the data showed similar trends in patterns by age, gender, season, and employment status. This study was the first to explicitly examine the time-location patterns in an older, multiethnic population and the first to add data on Chinese participants. These data can be used to inform future epidemiological research of MESA Air and other studies that include diverse populations.

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