Behavioral risk factors among members of a health maintenance organization

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavorial Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Alcohol Drinking; Body Mass Index; Cholesterol; Dietary Fats; Exercise; Female; *Health Behavior; Health Maintenance Organizations; *Health Status; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; Questionnaires; Risk Factors; Smoking


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Preventive Medicine


BACKGROUND: Co-occurrence of risk behaviors (RBs) substantially increases the risk of disease. This study examines the co-occurrence of four health risk behaviors (i.e., smoking, high-fat diet, sedentariness, and high-risk drinking) and demographic and psychosocial variables associated with number of RBs in a sample of members of a health maintenance organization who participated in the Seasonal Variation in Cholesterol (Seasons) study.

METHODS: Seasons study baseline data were used. Subjects completed a self-administered questionnaire packet containing questions on demographics, smoking history, and leisure-time physical activity, a 7-day dietary recall instrument, and various psychosocial measures. Results presented here are based on 496 subjects with complete data on all RBs.

RESULTS: Forty-three percent of participants had > or = two RBs. The most prevalent RB combination was high-fat diet/sedentariness, with 30% of subjects reporting both RBs. Associations between RBs were observed. A greater number of RBs were observed among younger and less-educated subjects, those with higher depression scores, and subjects who perceived their health as poor.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the importance of designing and evaluating primary care-based screening programs and interventions for multiple RBs.

DOI of Published Version



Prev Med. 2001 Dec;33(6):586-94. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Preventive medicine

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID