Document Type


Date of Original Version



Health Studies


Few studies have focused on understanding how sociodemographic factors impact healthy ageing in the rapidly growing population of Alaskan older adults. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to compare the health of Alaskan older adults to those in the contiguous US, and determine how the associations differ between older adults in Alaska and the contiguous US. We abstracted 165,295 respondents age 65+ from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We used generalised linear models to assess the associations between sociodemographic factors and six health outcomes accounting for confounders and complex sampling. In the contiguous US, females were less likely than males to be obese (OR 0.96, 95%CI 0.96–0.97), while in Alaska, females were more likely to be obese (OR 1.24, 95%CI 1.19–1.29). In the contiguous US, Alaska Natives/American Indians were more likely than respondents of other races to be smokers (OR 1.62, 95%CI 1.60–1.63), while in Alaska, the association between race and smoking was not significant (OR 1.00, 95%CI 0.94–1.06). These differences between Alaska and the contiguous US results suggest that programs designed to reduce disparities and promote healthy behaviours may need to be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of older adults living in Alaska.

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