Activity behavior, nutritional status and perceived health in older Brazilian adults: Does the number of chronic diseases matter?
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Aim: The present study examined activity behavior, nutritional status and perceived health in relation to the number of chronic diseases (ChrD) in a representative sample of Brazilians aged ≥60 years. Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based study was carried out in a midsize Brazilian city to evaluate different health risk factors. Using a stratified random sampling procedure to select a representative sample of adults, this study interviewed 1572 individuals face-to-face. Our analytical sample focused on those aged ≥60 years (n = 355). Statistical procedures were carried out using spss software, with the significance level set as P < 0.05. Results: Older adults diagnosed with ≥2 ChrD were significantly less active during leisure time physical activity (P = 0.03), presented with significant higher body mass index values (P < 0.001) and were approximately fivefold (1.69–17.93) more likely to perceive their health as poor compared with those with zero ChrD. The group with ≥2 ChrD reported a similar amount of sitting time compared with older adults with zero or one ChrD (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Having multiple ChrD has a negative impact on older adults’ leisure time physical activity, body mass index and the perception of health. The findings of the present study underscore the need for more infusive approaches tackling ChrD in Brazil focusing on healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as physical activity. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 2376–2382.