Examining modifiable health behaviors, body weight, and use of preventive health services among caregivers and non-caregivers aged 65 years and older in Hawaii, Kansas, and Washington using 2007 BRFSS

Lisa C. McGuire, E. L. Bouldin, E. M. Andresen, L. A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the associations among health behaviors, healthy body weight, and use of preventive services of adults 65 years and older using the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) as a function of caregiving status. Methods: Participants (N=6,138) residing in the states of Hawaii, Kansas, and Washington completed questions about caregiving. We examined if there were any associations among body weight - having a healthy weight (body mass index 18.5-24.9 kg/m2); modifiable health behaviors - not smoking, consuming ≤1 alcoholic beverage per day, consuming at least five fruits or vegetables daily, participating in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the average week; and using preventive services - receiving an annual influenza immunization, and ever receiving a pneumococcal immunization. Results: The two groups did not differ significantly on the modifiable health behaviors of fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking status, or alcohol consumption, or having a healthy weight. Caregivers were significantly more likely to meet physical activity recommendations than non-caregivers (54.1%, 42.0%, respectively, p<0.001). No significant differences were found between caregivers and non-caregivers on receiving influenza and pneumococcal immunization. Conclusions: Older adults who are caregivers are more likely than other older adults to meet government recommendations for physical activity; however, they have similar patterns of engaging in other health behaviors, including health eating and use of preventive services. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010



  • Behavioral risk factor surveillance system
  • Caregiving
  • Health behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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