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Physical activity and physical activity adherence in the elderly based on smoking status

Cooper TV, Resor MR, Stoever CJ, Dubbert PM. Physical activity and physical activity adherence in the elderly based on smoking status. Addictive Behaviors. 2007 Oct 1; 32(10):2268-73.

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This study assessed the impact of current smoking status and lifetime smoking status on physical fitness and physical activity regimen adherence as part of a larger study on walking for exercise in elderly primary care patients at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. At baseline, 218 participants self-reported smoking status which was verified by carbon monoxide expiration. Former and current smokers responded to questions about length of time quit, average daily cigarette intake, and years a smoker. Smoking measures were re-collected at 6- and 12-month follow-ups if the participants indicated a change in smoking status. Veterans completed multiple measures of physical activity (e.g., 6-min walk, 7-day Physical Activity Recall), and adherence to a physical activity goal was assessed. The Physical Component Summary (PCS) subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (MOS SF-36) was used to assess health-related quality of life. Hierarchical regression models indicated smoking status was a predictor of the baseline 6-min walk such that smokers walked significantly shorter distances than nonsmokers. In addition, smoking status was found to be a significant predictor of adherence; however, the overall model that included smoking status as a predictor did not demonstrate a significant effect on adherence. Neither smoking status nor pack years were predictors of baseline self-reported physical activity or changes in physical activity post intervention. Results are consistent with recommendations to use physical exercise as an aid to tobacco cessation, even in aging men with extensive smoking histories.

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