, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 395-407
Date: 08 Nov 2008

Prevalence, trend, and sociodemographic association of five modifiable lifestyle risk factors for cancer in Alberta and Canada

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To examine the 12-year trend, in Alberta and Canada, of five modifiable lifestyle risk factors for cancer, and their associations with sociodemographic factors.


Six surveys collected data from Canadians aged ≥12 years. The prevalence, trends, and sociodemographic association of five lifestyle risk factors (smoking, inactivity, excessive drinking, overweight/obesity, and insufficient fruit/vegetable intake) were examined.


Smoking and inactivity decreased significantly: by 5.4% and 2.7% (Alberta men) and 4.9% and 12.1% (Alberta women); by 7.5% and 8.5% (Canada men) and 7.7% and 11.9% (Canada women). Excessive drinking increased significantly: by 3.6% (men) and 0.9% (women), Alberta; by 2.5% (men) and 0.9% (women), Canada. Overweight/obesity significantly increased by 6.0% (Alberta) and 4.1% (Canada) in women. Being female, single, highly educated, or having higher income decreased the likelihood of exposure to multiple lifestyle risk factors; being middle aged, widowed/separated/divorced, or in poor health condition increased the likelihood.


The downward trends for smoking and physical inactivity were in a direction that may help reduce cancer burden. The excessive drinking and overweight/obesity trends did not change in desired direction and deserve attention. The clustering of the lifestyle risk factors in specific social groups provides useful information for future intervention planning.