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Patterns of health risk behaviors among job-seekers: a latent class analysis

Abstract

Objectives

To examine the patterning of four behavior-related health risk factors (tobacco smoking, risky alcohol drinking, overweight, and physical inactivity) among job-seekers and to investigate socio-demographic and health-related predictors of patterning.

Methods

The sample of 3,684 female and 4,221 male job-seekers was proactively recruited at three job agencies in northeastern Germany in 2008/09. Participants provided data on socio-demographics, substance use, body mass index, physical activity and self-rated health. Latent class analyses (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression analyses were applied to identify health risk patterns and possible predictors of patterning, respectively.

Results

Forty-three percent of the female and 58 % of the male participants had two or more health risk factors. LCA revealed three similar patterns for women and men: Substance use (tobacco smoking, risky drinking), Non-exercising overweight (physical inactivity, overweight/obesity) and Health-conscious (non-smoking, low-risk drinking, under-/normal weight, physical activity). Age, education, marital status, life-time unemployment and self-rated health were significantly associated with patterning in both genders.

Conclusions

Our results may help to define target populations for improving health behaviors among job-seekers.

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Acknowledgments

The conduction of the research project was funded by the German Research Foundation (grant number FR2661/1-1, FR2661/1-2). Work on this paper was also supported by the German Cancer Aid (110676, 110543), the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), and the program “Young scientists create new sex/gender-sensitive knowledge” within the project Epi goes Gender (01FP1229/30).

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Correspondence to Inga Schnuerer.

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Schnuerer, I., Baumann, S., Haberecht, K. et al. Patterns of health risk behaviors among job-seekers: a latent class analysis. Int J Public Health 60, 111–119 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-014-0623-1

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Keywords

  • Clustering of health risk behaviors
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Risky alcohol drinking
  • Tobacco smoking