Health Behavior

  • Michael Feuerstein
  • Elise E. Labbé
  • Andrzej R. Kuczmierczyk

Abstract

The rising interest in health behavior today reflects a recent focus on the prevention of illness. Seven of the ten leading causes of death in the United States apppear to be associated with the absence of various health behaviors. Table 8–1 identifies the 10 leading causes of death in 1977 and related risk factors. Most of these causal agents are behavioral in nature or involve some behavioral response on the part of the individual. Matarazzo (1983) points out that whereas contagious and infectious diseases contribute minimally to illness and death, other illnesses have become more frequent and are of a different nature. As discussed in Chapter 2, biomedical research suggests that major breakthroughs in science have contributed significantly toward reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases. Such diseases as influenza, rubella, whooping cough, and polio are no longer a major concern of health care professionals. More deaths are now caused by heart disease (37.8% of all deaths), cancer (20%), and stroke (9.6%). Recent epidemiological studies suggest that these illnesses are the by-products of changes in twentieth-century industrial practices and personal life-styles. Health care professionals are beginning to recognize and are providing empirical evidence demonstrating that the major causes of death are ones in which behavioral pathogens are the single most important factor.

Keywords

Health Behavior Behavioral Medicine Health Belief Model Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Illness Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Feuerstein
    • 1
  • Elise E. Labbé
    • 2
  • Andrzej R. Kuczmierczyk
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  2. 2.University of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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