The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3120.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 10:30 AM

Abstract #67841

Chronic disease-related risks and behaviors of reproductive age women and opportunities for prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Indu Ahluwalia, MPH, PHD1, Karin Ann Mack, PhD2, and Ali Mokdad, PhD1. (1) Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, MS K66, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, 770-488-5764,, (2) NCCDPHP/DACH/BSB, Centers for Disease Control, 4770 Buford Hwy NE K66, Atlanta, GA 30341

Background: Participation in high risk behaviors are associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Major causes of chronic disease mortality are obesity, cigarette smoking, and alcohol use. We examined high-risk behaviors of reproductive age women over time.

Methods: BRFSS data for reproductive age women (18-44 years) for two time periods, 1991/1992 and 2000/2001 were analyzed. The BRFSS is a state-specific population-based, random telephone survey. Variables examined were: pregnancy status, BMI, alcohol use, binge drinking, cigarette smoking, exercise, and blood pressure. Prevalence estimates and standard errors were generated using SUDAAN.

Results: Data for non-pregnant women show an increase in overweight from 18.9 (SE=0.3) in 1991/1992 to 24.3 (SE=0.3) in 200/2001 and obesity from 9.8% (SE=0.2) to 17.7 (SE=0.2). There was a significant increase in alcohol intake from 47.9% (SE=0.5) to 55.8% (SE=0.4) and cigarette smoking from 24.0% (SE=0.3) to 26.0% (SE=0.2). Little change was observed for physical activity, binge drinking, and high blood pressure. For pregnant women, there was a decrease in cigarette smoking from 14.1% (SE=1.1) to 12.6% (SE=0.8); and slight increase in alcohol use, participation in exercise and high blood pressure.

Conclusions: Results show that non-pregnant women of reproductive age are increasingly engaging in high-risk behaviors. No substantive increase was observed in high-risk behaviors of pregnant women. Findings indicate that pregnancy and routine preventive reproductive health services may present windows of opportunity to educate reproductive age women about healthier lifestyle choices to prevent chronic disease related morbidity and mortality.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Women's Health, Chronic Diseases

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Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Chronic Disease Epidemiology

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA