Documentation of Health Behaviors and Risk Factors Measured in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS/AHEAD)

TitleDocumentation of Health Behaviors and Risk Factors Measured in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS/AHEAD)
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJenkins, KR, Ofstedal, MB, Weir, DR
InstitutionInstitute for Social Research, University of Michigan
CityAnn Arbor, Michigan
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Methodology
Abstract

The two most important negative behaviors for population health are smoking, which is declining over time, and obesity, which is on the rise. Recognizing the important role of health behaviors and risk factors with respect to issues of key importance to the HRS (health, employment, wealth, timing of retirement), the original designers of the HRS incorporated a set of core measures of health behaviors at the outset. These measures have been expanded over time. The health behaviors and risk factors that are covered in the HRS include: Cigarette smoking (current and past behavior); Alcohol consumption (current behavior and past drinking problems); Body mass index (derived from self-reports of height and weight); Exercise (current level); Preventive health screenings. This report is organized as follows. Section II provides an inventory of the measures of health behaviors and risk factors that are covered in HRS, noting additions and changes that have occurred across waves. Special methodological issues that must be considered when using these data are covered in Section III. Section IV (and corresponding Tables 2-28) presents prevalence estimates and frequency counts for each of the health behavior and risk factor measures over time. Lastly, Section V addresses data quality by comparing HRS prevalence estimates with those from other surveys, reviewing results from some of the studies that have used HRS data to study health behaviors and risk factors, and investigating the level of missing data for these measures.

Endnote Keywords

survey measurement/methodology/health Behavior/alcohol consumption/Body Mass Index

Endnote ID

62880

Citation Key5736
AttachmentSize
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