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Publication Abstract

Authors: Kamimoto LA, Easton AN, Maurice E, Husten CG, Macera CA

Title: Surveillance for five health risks among older adults--United States, 1993-1997.

Journal: MMWR CDC Surveill Summ 48(8):89-130

Date: 1999 Dec 17

Abstract: PROBLEM/CONDITION: Overweight, drinking and driving, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, physical inactivity, and smoking are associated with the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among older adults (i.e., persons aged > or =65 years) in the United States. REPORTING PERIOD: This report presents data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 1994-1997 and from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for 1993-1995. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEMS: BRFSS and NHIS are maintained by CDC and have been used for surveillance purposes. Each survey is administered annually and includes questions about health risks and health behaviors from a representative sample of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. The NHIS is designed to provide national estimates and the BRFSS, state estimates. RESULTS: Prevalences of overweight, drinking and driving, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, and smoking decreased with increasing age among older adults in the United States; physical inactivity was the only health risk that increased with increasing age. Sex and race were differentially associated with all five health risks. INTERPRETATION: Specific subgroups of older adults are at risk for being overweight, drinking and driving, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, physical inactivity, and smoking. These health risks varied by age, race, residential state, and socioeconomic status and highlight the heterogeneous nature of older adults. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Surveillance for health risks among older adults provides information to help identify effective interventions for the growing population of older adults in the United States.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013