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Prev Med. 2008 Mar;46(3):203-8. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Clusters of lifestyle behaviors: results from the Dutch SMILE study.

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  • 1Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. hein.devries@gvo.unimaas.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to identify differences and similarities in health behavior clusters for respondents with different educational backgrounds.

METHODS:

A total of 9449 respondents from the 2002 wave of the Dutch SMILE cohort study participated. Latent class analyses were used to identify clusters of people based on their adherence to Dutch recommendations for five important preventive health behaviors: non-smoking, alcohol use, fruit consumption, vegetable consumption and physical exercise.

RESULTS:

The distribution of these groups of behaviors resulted in three clusters of people: a healthy, an unhealthy and poor nutrition cluster. This pattern was replicated in groups with low, moderate and high educational background. The high educational group scored much better on all health behaviors, whereas the lowest educational group scored the worst on the health behaviors.

CONCLUSION:

The same three patterns of health behavior can be found in different educational groups (high, moderate, low). The high educational group scored much better on all health behaviors, whereas the lowest educational group scored the worst on the health behaviors. Tailoring health education messages using a cluster-based approach may be a promising new approach to address multiple behavior change more effectively.

PMID:
17904212
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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