The relationships between health-related behaviours in the Canadian adult population

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Mudryj, Adriana N
Riediger, Natalie D
Bombak, Andrea E
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Abstract Background Health-related behaviours such as physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, smoking, alcohol use, and inadequate sleep are significant predictors of adverse health outcomes. Health promotion strategies often focus on one behavior, though research suggests health-related behaviours tend to co-occur. The purpose of this study is to describe the relationships between health-related behaviours in the Canadian adult population. Methods Data from cycles 3 (2012–2013) and 4 (2014–2015) of the Canadian Health Measures Survey were pooled to describe health-related behaviours (current smoking status, high-risk alcohol use, fruit and vegetable intake, inadequate sleep, and physical activity) among adults according to sex, age group, household education, and income adequacy. Logistic regression was used to test for relationships between health-related behaviours. Results Findings indicated that adverse health-related behaviours co-occur frequently, with approximately half of Canadians reporting two or more adverse health-related behaviours. Overall, Canadian men were more likely to report adverse health-related behaviours compared to women, with the exception of inadequate sleep. Smoking status, fruit and vegetable intake, sleep and physical activity exhibited an income and education gradient. Sex-based patterns in grouping of behaviours were present such that adverse health-related behaviours were associated with current smoking among men and with high-risk alcohol use among women. Conclusion Our findings suggest that health-related behaviours should be considered in both isolation and combination when designing intervention strategies. Sex-specific patterns of how these behaviours co-occur must also be taken into account.
BMC Public Health. 2019 Oct 24;19(1):1359