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Health behaviour changes after diagnosis of chronic illness among Canadians aged 50 or older

Publication: Health Reports 2012:23(4)

Authors: Jason T. Newson, Nathalie Huguet, Pamela L. Ramage-Morin, Michael J. McCarthy, Julie Bernier, Mark S. Kaplan and Bentson H. McFarland

Data: National Population Health Survey (1994/1995 to 2006/2007)

Changes in health behaviours (smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and fruit and vegetable consumption) after diagnosis of chronic health conditions (heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, and diabetes) were examined among Canadians aged 50 or older. Results from 12 years of longitudinal data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey indicated relatively modest changes in behaviour. Although significant decreases in smoking were observed among all groups except those with respiratory disease, at least 75% of smokers did not quit. No significant changes emerged in the percentage meeting physical activity recommendations, except those with diabetes, or in excessive alcohol consumption, except those with diabetes and respiratory disease. The percentage reporting the recommended minimum fruit and vegetable intake did not increase significantly among any group.

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For more information on this article contact Pamela Ramage-Morin (1-613-951-1760;, Health Analysis Division.