Association between allostatic load and health behaviours: a latent class approach

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Epidemiology | Physiological Processes | Psychiatry and Psychology | Translational Medical Research


BACKGROUND: Allostatic load (AL) has been characterised in many ways throughout the literature; however, its relationship to health behaviours has only been studied in limited populations. We aimed to uncover qualitative patterns of biological indicators in AL and determine if those patterns were associated with certain health behaviours.

METHODS: We conducted latent class analysis using biological indicators from a multiethnic population. We fit latent class regression of class on health behaviours (smoking, poor diet, physical activity and alcohol use) to measure the association between each latent class of AL and each health behaviour.

RESULTS: Four classes, 'Metabolic+Cholesterol, 'Blood Pressure', 'Metabolic+Blood Pressure' and 'Low', were found in the sample. Latent class regression showed that physical activity and alcohol use were significantly associated with the 'Metabolic+Blood Pressure' class.

CONCLUSION: Less physical activity was required to improve AL than was previously found. Low to moderate alcohol use was beneficial for lower AL. Implications of the amount of physical activity necessary to lower AL is discussed.


blood pressure, clusters, diet, exercise, health behaviour, UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Forrester SN, Leoutsakos JM, Gallo JJ, Thorpe RJ Jr, Seeman TE. Association between allostatic load and health behaviours: a latent class approach. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2019 Apr;73(4):340-345. doi: 10.1136/jech-2018-211289. Epub 2019 Jan 30. PMID: 30700494. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID