Lifestyle Behaviors Predict Negative and Positive Changes in Self-reported Health

Orna Baron-Epel, C. Richard Hofstetter, Veronica L. Irvin, Sunny Kang, Melbourne F. Hovell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of changes in health following immigration are inconsistent, and few are based on longitudinal designs to test associations based on change. This study identified factors that predicted changes in self-reported health (SRH) among California residents of Korean descent. A sample of California residents of Korean descent were interviewed and followed-up 2 or 3 times by telephone during 2001-2009. The questionnaires dealt with SRH, lifestyle behaviors (smoking, physical activity, and fast food consumption), and socioeconomic measures. Statistical analysis included random-intercepts longitudinal regression models predicting change in SRH. A similar percentage of respondents reported improved and deteriorating SRH (30.3% and 29.1%, respectively). Smoking, consumption of fast foods, age, percentage of life spent in the United States, and being female were predictors of deteriorating SRH, whereas physical activity, education, and living with a partner were predictive of improvement in SRH. The effect of immigration on SRH is influenced by socioeconomic factors and lifestyle practices. Results support promotion of healthy lifestyle practices among immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-784
Number of pages10
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - 22 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by grants to C. Richard Hofstetter, “Tobacco Use and Acculturation: California Residents of Korean Descent,” 9RT-0073, Tobacco Related Disease and Research Program, California, July 1, 2000-July 1, 2003, and R01CA105199-01A1, from the National Institute of Health (Cancer), and partial support from the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health. Intramural support was received from the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health, San Diego State University. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health, nor the Tobacco Related Disease and Research Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health.


  • Korean immigrants
  • fast food consumption
  • follow-up
  • lifestyle
  • physical activity
  • self-reported health
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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