The relationships among health behaviors in older persons

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Yogev Kivity

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationships among health behaviors in older persons and whether they form related groups of behaviors. Method: Health behaviors (physical activity, alcohol use, nutrition, weight stability, and smoking) were analyzed using factor analysis in two representative samples of two cohorts of Israeli older persons aged 75 to 94. Data collection was conducted during 1989-1992 for the first cohort (N = 1,200) and during 2000-2002 for the second (N = 421). Results: Four factors of health behaviors were found mostly unrelated: (a) physical activity and weight stability, (b) alcohol use, (c) smoking, and (d) nutrition. Discussion: The analysis enables identification of underlying health-behavior dimensions in an understudied population. Furthermore, the findings have important implications for health-promotion policy, indicating that prevention and health-promotion programs for older persons should target each health behavior, and not assume that the practice of any health behavior implies a healthy overall lifestyle in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-842
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2011


FundersFunder number
Israeli Multidisciplinary Aging Study
National Institute on AgingR01-AG05885-03, R01-5885-06, R01AG005885
Israel National Institute for Health Policy ResearchA/2/1998


    • alcohol drinking
    • health behaviors
    • health promotion
    • physical activity
    • smoking


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