Abstract P288: Cardiovascular Disease, Risk Factors, and Physical Activity are Significant Predictors of Self-Rated Health and Well-Being
Introduction: Self-rated health, a measure of general health, is recognized as a valid measure for predicting future health outcomes, especially survival. In this study, the role of cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD risk factors, and level of physical activity (PA) in predicting self-rated health and well-being was investigated. It was hypothesized that individuals who reported having CVD, at least one CVD risk factor (e.g., hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, or current cigarette smoking), or not meeting current PA guidelines (≥ 30 min. moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days/week) would report lower general health and well-being scores than individuals without CVD, CVD risk factors, or meeting current PA guidelines.
Methods: Participants were English speaking adults, aged 55 years and older, attending the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. Self-reported questionnaires were used to gather data on PA, CVD, CVD risk factors, general health, and well-being. The Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity was used to assess level of PA. General health was assessed with a comparative self-rated health question: “In general, compared to other people your age, would you say that your health is” with the response items “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “fair,” or “poor.” Well-being was assessed with the Cantril self-anchoring striving scale (i.e., Cantril-ladder). Proportional odds models were applied to the data to examine the effect of CVD, CVD risk factors, and levels of PA on self-rated health and well-being.
Results: Study participants (N=434) were primarily white (94%), college educated (75%) females (58%) with a mean age of 65.1 (SD=7.0) years. More than half (62.7%) met the PA guidelines and 49.5% reported at least one of the following: heart disease, stroke, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes. Only 1.1% were current smokers, thus smoking was excluded from final analyses. Meeting the PA guidelines was associated with higher Cantril scores (p<0.001) and CVD/CVD risk factors were associated with lower Cantril scores (p=0.046). Similarly, individuals who reported meeting the PA guidelines had higher comparative self-rated health scores (p<0.001), whereas individuals with CVD/CVD risk factors had lower scores (p=0.018).
Conclusions: CVD, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and levels of PA below the recommended guidelines predict lower self-rated general health and well-being. These findings underscore the importance of interventions to improve PA, particularly among individuals with CVD or who are at risk for CVD, to improve perceptions of general health and well-being, and ultimately overall health outcomes.
Author Disclosures: E. Schorr: None. C. Cheung: None. K. Talley: None. J. Wyman: None. S. McMahon: None. J. Hughes: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.