Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Older U.S. Adults with and without disabilities, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2003.
McGuire, LC, Strine, TW, Okoro, CA, Ahluwalia, IB, Ford, ES. (2007). Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Older U.S. Adults with and without disabilities, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2003. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research Practice and Policy, 4(1), 1-11
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the prevalence of certain health behaviors and healthy body weight among older US adults, both with and without disabilities.
Adults aged 65 or older were included in this study. Participants were a subset (n= 40, 414) of those who took part in the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Those with a disability were more likely than those without disability to be female, aged 75 years and older, have an annual income of less than $25,000, be previously married, have less than a high school education, rate their health as fair or poor, and have a regular health care provider.
MethodsData was obtained via self report on the telephone conducted BRFSS. BMI was assessed in addition to the prevalence of six modifiable health behaviors pertaining to smoking, drinking, eating, exercising and receiving vaccinations.
Those with a disability were less likely to have a healthy weight or engage in recommended levels of physical activity in an average week than were those without a disability. Those with a disability were, however, more likely to have received a lifetime pneumococoal immunization and to be nonsmokers. No other significant differences in behaviors were found.
A better understanding of health behaviors related to chronic disease in older adults with disabilities may be warranted, and may lead to improvement in disease prevention and care. The authors of this study also call for increased screening, education and counseling of older adults with respect to the benefits of healthful behaviors and having a healthy weight.