The health and lifestyle

The objective of the study was to explore the health related behaviours, health status and activities of daily living of elderly people both with and without heart disease, to determine if a connection or interaction existed. A total of 775 participants were surveyed randomly through quota sampling with the only criteria for participant selection being that all participants were to be aged over sixty five.

All participants completed a standard questionnaire compiled by the University of Sydney. It contained a series of closed questions requiring the subject to rate his/her own health related behaviours, activities of daily living and health status. A correlation between smoking, health status and hospitalization existed in people who had heart disease. The effect of exercise upon people with heart disease was however inconclusive. This aspect of the research was surprising and further exploratory investigation could confirm or deny such results.

INTRODUCTION

The problem considered in this study was the extent of the relationship between the differences in health related behaviours (alcohol use, cigarette use, current and previous levels of exercise) health status (self report, number of hospitalizations, number of diagnoses and activities of daily livings of those who report diagnoses of heart disease and those who don’t. Independent variables include marital status, gender, schooling and age.

Heart disease is a major problem worldwide. It is the number one killer. According to the worlds health organization 17 million people die in the world each year from cardiovascular disease (COP), in 1998 7.3 million people died in the world from coronary artery disease (CAD). Heart disease is a disease of the circulatory system, also called cardiovascular disease (CAD), and is the leading cause of death and disability in the world. It can take several forms including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease (CHD), peripheral vascular disease, stroke and rheumatic disease.

Among many people it is believed that diabetes, alcohol use, cigarette use and lack of exercise contribute to heart disease. However many studies have shown that moderate drinking is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Some researchers have suggested that the beneficial affects of moderate drinking come not from alcohol itself, but from other substances found in alcoholic beverages. (www.heartcentreonline.com). This research is purely conducted to determine whether there are any differences in elderly people in those who report diagnoses of heart disease and those who don’t.

A study conducted in 1999 examines basic linkages between individuals aging, the prevalence of various chronic health conditions of daily livings (e.g. walking, climbing stairs and cutting up food) and instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. shopping, meal preparations and performance of house work in the Canadian population (Eric G Moore, Mark W, Rosenberg G and Susan H,1999). However this study does not directly link any differences with those who report diagnoses of heart disease and those who don’t. A similar study conducted by (Ades PA, Savage PD, Tishler M, Dpoehlman ET, Dee J, Niggel J, 2002) determined the physical functioning of coronary patients, and compared

middle aged patients with older aged patients. However, this research once again did not compare the physical functioning’s of coronary patients with those who aren’t. This study also compares the amount of cigarette smoked, amount of alcohol consumed and the amount of exercise that have been performed during the early stages of the elderly. Hence this study depicts whether early stages of ones life will affect later stages. A similar study has been carried out by (Engl N, Med J, 1998) and depicts that smoking, body mass index and exercise patterns in midlife and late adult hood are predictors of

subsequent disability. Not only do person with better health habits survive longer, but in such persons, disability is postponed and compressed into fewer years at the end of life. The problem with this research is that it does not directly relate mid life and late adulthood to those that are diagnosed with heart disease and those who aren’t. The aim of this study is to explore the differences in health related behaviours, health status and activities of daily livings between those who report diagnoses of heart disease and those who don’t .It was hypothesized that, people with heart disease consume too many cigarettes, do not do enough exercise, are dependent on others for their activities and have entered hospitals more than those who are not diagnosed with heart disease.

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