Clinical report

Scand J Work Environ Health 1997;23 suppl 3:85-90    pdf

Changes in health status and health behavior among Finnish adults 1978-1993

by Lahelma E, Rahkonen O, Berg M-A, Helakorpi S, Prättälä R, Puska P, Uutela A

The patterning of trends in self-assessed health, and in the "Holy Four" of health-related behaviors, that is, smoking, drinking, the use of high-fat milk and butter, and physical exercise, was examined in the Finnish general population aged 25--64 years. There were considerable differences in the health status and health behavior by study year, gender, and educational attainment. The longer the education, the better the health and the more favorable the health behavior, except for the use of alcohol. From the late 1970s to the early 1990s smoking increased slightly among women but decreased among men. The use of alcohol increased, whereas the use of butter and high-fat milk decreased dramatically. Physical exercise during leisure time increased, especially among women. Unemployed men and women were more often smokers than employed persons.