To What Degree are the Improvements to Lifestyle Behaviors that Mentioned in the Questionnaire for the Annual Specific Medical Examination Actually Associated with Improvements to BMI, Systolic Blood Pressure, and LDL-C?

Author Name SEKIZAWA Yoichi (Senior Fellow, RIETI) / KIMURA Moriyo (The Public Health Institute) / NAWATA Kazumitsu (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2020 20-J-030
Research Project Exploring Inhibition of Medical Expenditure Expansion and Health-oriented Business Management Based on Evidence-based Medicine
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(Background and Methods) In Japan's annual specific health checkups, participants are asked to answer questions on lifestyle behaviors, including smoking, lightly sweaty physical exercise two time or more per weak, daily physical activity such as walking, walking speed, eating speed, timing of meals, snacking behavior, breakfast habits, alcohol intake, and sleep patterns. We examined whether body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and LDL-C improve with the improvement of lifestyle behaviors specified in the questions by analyzing the three-year longitudinal data of a health insurance society through multivariate regressions.

(Results) Improvements in lifestyle behaviors stipulated in the questionnaire are correlated with reduction of BMI, except for quitting smoking, which was correlated with an increase of BMI. Regarding SBP, there were no correlations between lifestyle behavior improvements and SBP except for drinking and smoking. Regarding LDL-C, lightly sweaty physical exercise, physical activity, cessation of late-night snacking, and eating breakfast were correlated with a reduction of LDL-C and reduction of alcohol intake was correlated with a rise in LDL-C. Overall, lifestyle behavior improvements stipulated in the questionnaires might lead to slight weight loss, but not to substantial improvements of SBP and LDL-C.

(Limitation) Data for male participants of a health insurance society was used for the study. Causal relationships cannot be explored in this data.