Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2001;1(1) 

In This Article

Health Promotion Behaviors in Older Adults

Despite the positive outcomes of primary and secondary health promotion activities, only a small percentage of older adults actively engage in these activities. This is particularly true of the old-old age group.[17,18] Despite the known benefits of exercise, at least 50% to 70% of older adults have no regular exercise activity.[19,20] Studies of Medicare beneficiaries have shown that only 15% to 40% of those ages 65 years and older receive mammography screening.[15,20] In a large study[21] of 3,347,410 older women, only 4% of those 85 years old and older had mammograms routinely. Blustein and Weiss[20] reported that, regardless of health status and functional ability, those in the 85-years-and-above age group were less likely to get a mammogram over a 12-month period than younger women.

In the 1990 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 65% of women ages 55 to 64 years had mammography screening, but only 49% of women ages 75 to 84 years, and 30% of women ages 85 years and older reported ever having a mammogram.[22] Moreover, the women who were nonusers of mammography were more likely to be diagnosed at more advanced stages of the disease.[15] Similarly, regardless of socioeconomic status or race, older women were less likely to get Pap tests than were their younger counterparts.[16]


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