Smoking and alcohol consumption patterns among elderly Canadians with mobility disabilitiesReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 6:218

First Online: 04 June 2013Received: 29 August 2012Accepted: 30 May 2013DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-6-218

Cite this article as: Liu, F., Woodrow, J., Loucks-Atkinson, A. et al. BMC Res Notes 2013 6: 218. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-6-218


BackgroundMobility disability is a major adverse health outcome associated with aging and an impediment to older adults’ well-being and behaviors in social and leisure activities. It has been shown that lifestyle factors, including smoking and alcohol consumption, have been used as coping strategies to deal with the negative impact of disability. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption among older Canadians with different levels of mobility disabilities and to examine factors associated with these two lifestyle patterns among those with disabilities.

MethodsSecondary data analysis was performed using individuals n = 6,038 aged 65 years and older from both the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey and the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey. Multivariate logistic regressions examined the relationship between disability severity and smoking as well as alcohol consumption while controlling for potential confounding socioeconomic factors.

ResultsThe proportion of current smokers among seniors with less-severe and more-severe mobility disabilities and those in the general population was comparable with 12.55%, 11.57% and 11.93%, respectively. Forty-eight percent of seniors in the general population consumed alcohol regularly, compared to only 12.85% with more-severe mobility disabilities. No significant association was shown between the severity level of mobility disabilities and smoking odds ratio = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.75, 1.08. However, seniors having more-severe disability were less likely to consume alcohol regularly odds ratio = 0.76, 95% confidence interval: 0.65, 0.89. Other variables including age, gender, income, living status, and social participation also impacted these lifestyle patterns among the study population.

ConclusionsSmoking and alcohol patterns present different associations with the severity level of mobility disabilities. Compared with the general population, elderly Canadians with mobility disabilities had similar smoking prevalence but differ significantly in terms of alcohol consumption. Results from this research will be relevant to decision makers involved in program planning, health education, and policy development as it pertains to the prevention and management of age-related disability.

KeywordsAging Alcohol drinking Health behavior Life style Mobility limitation Smoking Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-6-218 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Fang Liu, Jennifer Woodrow contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Fang Liu - Jennifer Woodrow - Angela Loucks-Atkinson - Sharon Buehler - Roy West - Peizhong Peter Wang


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