Changes in health-related behaviors as predictors of changes in health self-perception: longitudinal study (2011-2015)

Giovana Frazon de Andrade Mathias Roberto Loch Ana Maria Rigo Silva About the authors


Health self-perception is recognized as an interesting health indicator, due to its capacity to predict morbimortality, among others. Studies that investigate its association with health-related behaviors are more recent and, for the most part, cross-sectional, which indicates that this relationship may be better understood in longitudinal studies. This article sought to verify the relationship between changes in health-related behaviors and the incidence of positive and negative health self-perception. We carried out a prospective, population-based cohort study with 883 individuals aged 40 years or more interviewed in 2011 and 2015. We verified the incidence of negative and positive health self-perception according to changes in four health-related behaviors: leisure-time physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, abusive alcohol consumption and smoking - using crude and adjusted Poisson regression. The incidence of negative health self-perception was of 27.2%, and was higher, after adjusting for demographic, health, and other behavioral variables, among individuals with negative changes in leisure-time physical activity (RR = 1.88; 95%CI: 1.17-3.05) and in fruit and vegetable consumption (RR = 1.95; 95%CI: 1.15-3.28). The incidence of positive health self-perception was 33.2% and was higher among those who had a positive change in smoking (RR = 8.37; 95%CI: 2.79-25.09) and lower among those who had a negative change in fruit and vegetable consumption (RR = 0.51; 95%CI: 0.29-0.90). We conclude that some changes in health-related behaviors have a possible impact on health self-perception, which reinforces the importance of policies related to health-related behaviors, going beyond their relationship with morbimortality.

Life Style; Health Behavior; Self-Assessment; Health Status Indicators; Longitudinal Studies

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