Background: Global aging may increase the societal burden of providing more resources to augment elders’ disabilities. The implications of functional disabilities can vary depending on the society in which they occur. Objective: To determine differences in US and Russian elder citizens’ function. Research design: Convenience sample of persons 60 years and older were surveyed and evaluated. Subjects: One hundred community dwelling residents, half from Galesburg, Illinois and half from Moscow, Russia. Measurements: An interviewer administered questionnaire and functional assessment examination. Results: The Russian sample was younger than the American sample with a mean age of 67 years versus 78 years, and less likely to be widowed or living alone. Sixty percent of Russians took no medications compared with 14% of Americans, but Russians reported more cardiovascular disease, angina, and hypertension. Forty-four percent of Russians screened as being depressed and only 4% of the Americans. Self-assessed health was good for 77% of Americans and only 6% of Russians. The Medical Outcomes Study SF-36 Health Survey (MOS) eight health concepts showed favorable results for the Americans except for physical functioning, which indicated no difference. Conclusions: Marked health and functional differences exist between our samples. Russians had more cardiovascular disease, took less medication, drank and smoked more and were much more likely to be depressed than the US subjects.