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Changes in health-behaviour related determinants

Mohd Hairi, Farizah, Avendano, Mauricio and Mackenbach, Johan P. (2008) Changes in health-behaviour related determinants. In: Borsch-Supan, Axel, Brugiavini, Agar, Jürges, Hendrik, Kapteyn, Arie, Mackenbach, Johan P., Siegrist, Johannes and Weber, Guglielmo, (eds.) First Results From the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (2004-2007): Starting the Longitudinal Dimension. Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Mannheim, Germany, pp. 131-136. ISBN 9783000249693

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Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are major determinants of cardiovascular disease, cancer and death (Murray, 1997). Positive changes in these determinants can improve the physical health of the elderly, and many of these improvements can be achieved by changes in behaviour (Ngaire M Kerse, 1999). Many theories and models have been developed on why people adopt, maintain and change their behaviour (Norman, 2000). Furthermore, governments have introduced policies such as smoke-free environments, ‘move for health’ campaign and encouraging physical activity. The likelihood of adopting change in behaviour is likely to be influenced by demographic characteristics, factors in the social environment and national level-policies (Norman 2000). For instance, as people age the prevalence of health problems increases, which can motivate changes in health behaviour. Consequently, we would expect older age to be associated with changes in factors such as smoking. Similarly, the extent of changes in behaviour may differ between countries with different policies. For example, in Spain where a smoking ban was recently introduced, we would expect more smokers to stop smoking. Studies have also shown that Europeans with lower socioeconomic status are less aware of the risks of unhealthy behaviour and have less control over their unhealthy habits (Bobak 2000). Therefore, we would expect lower education or wealth to be associated with fewer changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Understanding these health-behaviour related determinants is essential to develop effective policies targeted towards high-risk populations. The aim of this chapter is to examine the impact of demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status and country of residence on the likelihood of changes in health-behaviour related determinants. To address this question, we examine how these factors influence the likelihood of quitting smoking, becoming physically inactive and developing overweight and obesity among the elderly population.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2013 15:13
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:16
Funders: European Commission

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