Association between selected unhealthy lifestyle factors, body mass index, and chronic health conditions among individuals 50 years of age or older, by race/ethnicity

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K66, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.
Ethnicity & disease (Impact Factor: 1). 02/2008; 18(4):450-7.
Source: PubMed


To examine the association between selected unhealthy lifestyle factors, body mass index (BMI), and chronic conditions among individuals 50 years of age or older, by race/ethnicity.
We analyzed 2001-2004 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based system of annual random-digit-dialed telephone surveys.
Noninstitutionalized US adults aged 50 years or older with landline telephones.
Of 442,167 BRFSS respondents who met our study criteria, 81.6% were non-Hispanic (NH) White, 8.4% were NH Black, 1.6% were NH Asian, 1.0% were NH American Indian, and 7.4% were Hispanic. Within each racial/ethnic group, weight status as measured by BMI was strongly associated with all five health conditions examined and particularly with diabetes, hypertension, and doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Among NH Whites and NH Blacks, those who were overweight or obese were significantly more likely than those of normal weight to have diabetes (NH Whites: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.94 and 5.25, respectively; NH Blacks: AOR = 1.87 and 3.36, respectively). Among obese NH Asians, NH American Indians, and Hispanics, the AORs for diabetes were 3.97, 4.15, and 2.67, respectively. The AORs for hypertension among those who were overweight and obese, respectively, were 1.78 and 3.47 among NH Whites; 1.65 and 2.98 among NH Blacks, 1.91 and 7.14 among NH Asians, 2.00 and 2.65 among NH American Indians, and 1.48 and 3.20 among Hispanics.
Our study revealed a strong association between BMI and risk for chronic health conditions among individuals 50 years of age or older in all racial/ethnic categories. It is important to use messages that are culturally appropriate when planning or conducting health promotion campaigns for selected ethnic/racial groups. In addition, careful research to document health status and healthcare needs within each major ethnic group is needed.

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