Prevalence and Correlates of Receiving Medical Advice to Increase Physical Activity in U.S. Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2016.Am J Prev Med. 2019 06; 56(6):834-843.AJ
National objectives recommend healthcare professionals provide physical activity advice. This study examined health and demographic characteristics associated with receipt of medical advice to increase physical activity among U.S. health care-utilizing adults and differences in associations by age group.
Analyses included 8,410 health care-utilizing adults aged ≥20 years from the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (analyzed in 2018). Logistic regression was used to examine associations between receipt of medical advice to increase physical activity in the past year and measured health conditions, reported health behaviors, and demographic characteristics. Models were stratified by age group (20-39, 40-59, and ≥60 years).
Physical activity medical advice was received by 42.9% (95% CI=40.8, 44.9) of adults overall. By age group, 32.7% of younger adults, 46.7% of middle-aged adults, and 48.9% of older adults received advice. Among all adults and across all age groups, receipt of advice was higher among adults with chronic health conditions: obesity (63.0%, 95% CI=60.3, 65.7), hypertension (56.5%, 95%=CI 53.8, 59.2), diabetes (69.8%, 95% CI=66.5, 72.8), hypercholesterolemia (55.6%, 95% CI=52.3, 59.0), and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (53.8%, 95% CI=50.1, 57.4). Among all adults, those with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes had significantly greater odds of receipt of advice after adjustment. Stronger associations between diabetes and hypercholesterolemia and receiving physical activity advice were observed among younger adults.
Receipt of physical activity medical advice was highest among adults with specific chronic health conditions, and this pattern was stronger among younger adults with diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. However, most health care-utilizing adults did not receive physical activity medical advice.