Health behaviours in older cancer survivors in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Grimmett, Chloe, Wardle , Jane and Steptoe, Andrew (2009) Health behaviours in older cancer survivors in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. European Journal of Cancer, 45, (12), 2180-2186. (doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2009.02.024). (PMID:19328679).


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To assess health behaviours in cancer survivors in a population-based sample of older adults in the United Kingdom (UK).


Data were from wave 1 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity was compared in cancer survivors and those with no cancer diagnosis. Associations between health behaviours and quality of life (QoL) and depressive symptoms were compared in both groups.


There were 716 (6.2%) cancer survivors in the sample. Cancer survivors were more likely to be former smokers (p < 0.001) and less likely to do moderate or vigorous physical activity (p < 0.05) than those with no cancer diagnosis. Physical activity was associated with better QoL and lower depressive symptoms, and smoking with poorer QoL and higher depressive symptoms, in both groups.


Levels of health behaviours among cancer survivors in the UK are suboptimal. Effective strategies to promote healthy lifestyles are needed in this vulnerable population.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2009.02.024
ISSNs: 0959-8049 (print)
Keywords: cancer survivors, older adults, health behaviours, quality of life, depression
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions : Faculty of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 336764
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
August 2009Published
26 March 2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 10:52
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:25

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