Modifiable characteristics of a healthy lifestyle and chronic health conditions in older adults with or without serious psychological distress, 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

  • Lisa C. McGuire
  • Tara W. Strine
  • Stephanie Vachirasudlekha
  • Lynda A. Anderson
  • Joyce T. Berry
  • Ali H. Mokdad
Original article

Abstract

Objective:

The associations between serious psychological distress (SPD), chronic health conditions, healthy behaviors, healthy weight, and use of preventive services were examined among adults 65 years old and older using the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Methods:

Participants (N = 35,845) completed a scale of nonspecific psychological distress for the past 30 days. Chronic health conditions were investigated in addition to having a healthy weight (body mass index 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), not smoking, consuming ≤ 1 alcoholic beverage per day, consuming at least five fruits or vegetables daily, participating in moderateto-vigorous physical activity during the average week, receiving an annual influenza immunization, and ever receiving a pneumococcal immunization.

Results:

People with SPD were more likely than those without SPD to report chronic health conditions and less likely to be nonsmokers. No differences were found for the remaining healthy behaviors, healthy body weight, and use of preventive services.

Conclusions:

Older adults with SPD have a similar pattern of engagement in health behaviors, healthy weight, and use of preventive services compared to those without SPD despite reporting worse health status and presence of multiple chronic health conditions.

Keywords:

Aging Health behaviors Behavioral risk factor surveillance system Mental health Serious psychological distress 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa C. McGuire
    • 1
  • Tara W. Strine
    • 1
  • Stephanie Vachirasudlekha
    • 1
  • Lynda A. Anderson
    • 1
  • Joyce T. Berry
    • 2
  • Ali H. Mokdad
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Adult and Community HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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