The main goal of this study was to identify the multiple trajectories of the following four health behaviors among the elderly by gender: smoking, drinking alcohol, getting regular exercise, and having a health checkup
Data were from a longitudinal survey conducted among the elderly from 1996 to 2007 in Taiwan. In total, 5,880 respondents were included in the analysis
The trajectories of health-related behaviors differed between males and females. Five groups of male elderly were identified: smoking, inactive, healthy lifestyle, smoking and drinking, and quitting. Three groups of female elderly were identified: smoking and drinking, inactive, and healthy lifestyle. Age, education, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and economic satisfaction at baseline were associated with the health behavior trajectories
The nature of healthy behaviors and risky behaviors may differ. Thus, multiple trajectories can exhibit patterns that differ from those of single behavior trajectories. Strategies designed to promote health need to consider both gender and behavior patterns which may change over time.
International Journal of Public Health, 58(1):109-120.