Online Program

Healthy Life Style, Health Literacy, and Health disparity: US and Japan

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chia-Ching Chen, EdD, MA, MS, CHES, SRAS, Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, New York Medical College School of Health Sciences & Practice, Valhalla, NY
Tetsuji Yamada, PhD, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ

Healthy lifestyle is strongly emphasized by Healthy People 2020 to help prevent chronic illness. Health literacy is an important factor for the successful aging in the US and Japan.



Our study investigates the comparison of motivation and socio-economic characteristics of health literacy and health disparity in the US and Japan. The study evaluates how a perceived healthy life style is associated with health literacy and health disparity by the elderly.   



Limited studies have been conducted that focus on comparative study of behavioral aspects of healthy life style by the elderly in the US and Japan. Expected and potential medical expenses often discourage preventive behavior to ensure a healthy lifestyle under different healthcare financing systems.



The data comes from the Global COE Survey by Osaka University in Japan which consists of 5,313 subjects from the US and 4,934 subjects from Japan. A set of regression analyses are conducted to investigate the factors such as socio-economic and cultural aspects, health behaviors, healthy life style, health literacy, perceived health, as well as the impact of health disparity on healthcare utilization.


Perceived health is positively and significantly related to physical activities. There is no clear cut difference between health behavioral aspects between the US and Japan. However, healthcare utilization and physical activities are negatively associated.


Healthy life style is essential for successful aging in both nations. It will reduce healthcare utilization especially in the US. There is clear cut evidence of a healthcare cost burden in the US.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare the importance of a healthy life style for successful aging between the US and Japan and related less healthcare service utilization.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am involved in the research.
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.