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Monday, March 19, 2012

The association of self-rated health and lifestyle behaviors among foreign-born Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans

This study employed the 2009 California Health Interview Survey to examine the association of self-rated heath status and lifestyle behavior variables such as smoking at least 100 cigarettes or more in an entire lifetime, alcohol consumption, and physical activity level among foreign-born Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans aged 18 and older.

The total study sample consisted of 3,023 foreign-born adult Chinese (n = 812), Korean (n = 857), and Vietnamese (n = 1,354) Americans. Logistic regression via Stata 12 was employed. Odds ratios (OR) along with confidence intervals (CI) were reported in the results.

Results revealed that smoking at least 100 cigarettes or more in an entire lifetime had a negative association with good health status (OR = 0.74, 95 % CI = 0.59, 0.94), while alcohol consumption had a positive association with good health status (OR = 1.20, 95 % CI = 1.00, 1.44). Moderate physical activity (OR = 1.26, 95 % CI = 1.05, 1.50) and vigorous physical activity (OR = 1.68, 95 % CI = 1.31, 2.15) had a similar positive association with good self-rated health status. The results also revealed that the predicted probability of self-rated health status based on ethnicity and lifestyle variables was more favorable for foreign-born Chinese Americans than their Korean and Vietnamese American counterparts.

This study’s results corroborated the findings reported in previous research on the association of lifestyle behaviors and health status. Regardless of racial or ethnic backgrounds, good lifestyles have an important role in the prevention of poor health status. However, health education and lifestyle intervention programs should take cultural differences among racial and ethnic populations into consideration.

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