258980 Health risks and behaviors of caregivers

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Alissa Cyrus, MPH , NCBDDD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Elizabeth Courtney-Long, MA, MSPH , National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Brian S. Armour, PhD , NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Introduction: Healthy People 2020 calls for an increase in the number of state health departments that have health promotion programs aimed at caregivers. Caregivers have previously been shown to report poorer health than non-caregivers, including more frequent mental distress, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis, and hypertension. However, many of these studies have been community-based and not representative of the United States. In 2009, a caregiver question in the core Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) enabled surveillance of caregiver health in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Methods: Data from the 2009 BRFSS (432,607 respondents) were used to obtain age-adjusted estimates for several health topics among caregivers and non-caregivers. Results: In 2009, 24.3% of U.S. adults reported being a caregiver to a person with an illness or disability. Caregivers were more likely than non-caregivers to report poor mental health (7.2% vs. 4.4%), cost as a barrier to receiving medical care (21.0% vs. 13.3%), insufficient sleep (13.6% vs. 9.9%), current smoking (22.6% vs. 16.9%), arthritis (29.6% vs. 23.5%), and asthma (10.3% vs. 7.9%). Caregivers were no more likely to report rarely or never receiving emotional support, or having diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Conclusion: Although caregivers experience some health disparities, they do not experience poorer outcomes in all areas of health. This national view of caregiver health across several health topics can be used to better target the health promotion programs for caregivers called for by Healthy People 2020.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To identify the prevalence of health outcomes in caregivers and non-caregivers. 2. To compare differences in health for caregivers and non-caregivers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in developing the idea for the abstract and in the writing of the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.