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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Self-Rated Health as Predictors of Healthy Aging Behaviors Among Older African-American Women

C. Unson, PhD, Center on Aging, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-6147, 860692239, Unson@uchc.edu and Alison Kleppinger, MS, Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center/Center on Aging, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-6147.

BACKGROUND: Understanding how people rate their health may be critical to health promotion because these assessments influence performance of healthy behaviors. HYPOTHESES: Higher SF-36 summary physical component (PCS) and mental component (MCS) scores will predict increased frequency of exercise, healthy diets, vaccinations, cancer screenings and non-smoking, when adjusted for education, age, and number of reported illness. METHOD: 197 African-American women,60 years or older were randomly selected from voter registries, were administered the SF-36 health survey and asked about the frequency of performing the aforementioned behaviors. RESULTS: The average respondent was 70.7 (SD 6.7) years old, had 11.4 (SD 3.9) years of education and 3.01 (SD 1.59) illnesses, mainly arthritis (69.5%) and high blood pressure (76.8%). The average PCS and MCS approximated the national norm for women 64 years old or older. Healthy diets (87.6%) and health screenings (72%) were the most frequently practiced. Few (40.1%)were vaccinated for pneumonia or had influenza (60.4%) vaccinations yearly; 35.6% exercised at least three times a week, and 8.9% reported smoking regularly. The regression analyses showed that higher PCS scores predicted more frequent exercise (P < .0001); predicted healthy dieting (P < .01) along with more reported illnesses. Higher MCS scores and older age predicted less frequent smoking (P < .05). Health screenings were predicted by more years of education (P < .05) and more reported illnesses (P < .05) whereas vaccinations by older age and more reported illnesses. CONCLUSION: Health perceptions help contribute to an understanding of healthy behaviors among older African-American women.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Promotion, African American

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.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Diversity Over the Life Course: Race, Ethnicity and Aging

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA