Aim The aim of this study was to estimate the differences in prevalence of multiple behavioral risk factors (MBRFs) for chronic diseases in European adults, from eleven North, Central and South European countries. Subjects and methods We used data from 26,656 adults, aged 50+ years, participating in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (2004/05). Physical inactivity, high body weight, smoking and risky alcohol consumption were assessed and estimated based on sampling weights, controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. Results 53.4 % of adults had 2+ MBRFs. Prevalence in the total sample was highest for physical inactivity (71.2 %) and lowest for smoking (18.1 %). The cluster of high body weight and physical inactivity had the highest prevalence of MBRFs (35.4%), with higher prevalence in Southern Europe (p <0.05). Smoking and alcohol consumption presented the greatest degree of clustering (observed to expected ratio=2.44). Spain and Greece had the highest prevalence of clustering 2+ MBRFs, whereas Southern European countries had a higher mean number of MBRFs, compared to North and Central European regions (p <0.05). Conclusion Prevalence of MBRFs varied between countries, with Southern European countries engaging in more risky behaviors. Primary prevention programmes should be developed to reduce MBRFs in this population.
- Multiplebehavioral risk factors
- SHARE study