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It is difficult to obtain detailed information on non-participants in physical and health examination checkups in community-based epidemiological studies. We investigated the characteristics of non-participants in a physical and health examination checkup for older adults in a nested study from the Japanese Kyoto-Kameoka Longitudinal Study.
We approached a total of 4831 people aged ≥65 years in 10 randomly selected intervention regions. Participants responded to a mail-based population survey on needs in the sphere of daily life to encourage participation in a free face-to-face physical checkup examination; 1463 participants (706 men, 757 women) participated in the physical checkup. A multiple logistic regression model was performed to investigate the adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of non-participation based on sociodemographic status apart from psychological and physiological frailty as assessed by the validated Kihon Checklist.
There was a significant, inverse relationship between non-participation and frequently spending time alone among individuals who lived with someone or other family structure (aOR = 0.53, standard error [SE] 0.08 in men, aOR = 0.66, SE 0.09 in women). Very elderly (over 80 years old) women, poorer health consciousness and current smoking in both sexes and poor self-rated health in men, were significantly related to higher non-participation rates. In both sexes, individuals who did not participate in community activities were significantly more likely to be non-participants than individuals who did (aOR = 1.94, SE 0.23 in men, aOR = 3.29, SE 0.39 in women). Having low IADL and physical functioning scores were also associated with higher rates of non-participation.
Health consciousness and lack of community activity participation were predictors of non-participation in a physical checkup examination among older adults. In addition, lower IADL and physical functioning/strength were also predictors of non-participation.
On the contrary, older inhabitants living with someone tended to participate in the physical checkup examination for social interchange when they were frequently alone in the household. This study suggests the importance of considering aging especially for women and poor sociodemographic background and physical frailty for both sexes so that older people can access health programs without difficulty.
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