Behavioural Determinants of Health Aging
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With global trends in population aging, many nations are developing and implementing healthy aging policies to promote quality as well as years of healthy life. To broaden the evidence base for such policy development, a review of the literature was conducted to summarize the existing evidence regarding the behavioral determinants of healthy aging. Such research is needed so that the efficacy of modes of intervention can be better understood. The outcome of "healthy" or "successful" aging was selected for this review since this nomenclature dominates the literature describing a global measure of multidimensional functioning at the positive end of the health continuum in older age. Studies published between 1985 and 2003 that reported statistical associations between baseline determinants and healthy aging outcome were identified from a systematic search of medical, psychological, sociological, and gerontological databases. Eight studies satisfied the search criteria. Modifiable risk factors among the behavioral determinants included smoking status, physical activity level, body mass index, diet, alcohol use, and health practices. On the basis of these findings, effective healthy aging policies need to enhance opportunities across the life span for modification of lifestyle risk factors. Efforts to standardize concepts and terminology will facilitate further research activity in this important area.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine