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Health-risk behaviors and quality of life among young men

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the associations between substance use and other health-risk behaviors and quality of life (QOL) among young men.

Methods

The analytical sample consisted of 5,306 young Swiss men who participated in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors. Associations between seven distinct self-reported health-risk behaviors (risky single-occasion drinking; volume drinking; cigarette smoking; cannabis use; use of any other illicit drugs; sexual intercourse without a condom; low physical activity) were assessed via chi-square analysis. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the associations between each particular health-risk behavior and either physical or mental QOL (assessed with the SF-12v2) while adjusting for socio-demographic variables and the presence of all other health-risk behaviors.

Results

Most health-risk behaviors co-occurred. However, low physical activity was not or negatively related to other health-risk behaviors. Almost all health-risk behaviors were associated with a greater likelihood of compromised QOL. However, sexual intercourse without a condom (not associated with both physical and mental QOL) and frequent risky single-occasion drinking (not related to mental QOL after adjusting for the presence of other health-risk behaviors; positively associated with physical QOL) differed from this pattern.

Conclusions

Health-risk behaviors are mostly associated with compromised QOL. However, sexual intercourse without a condom and frequent risky single-occasion drinking differ from this pattern and are therefore possibly particularly difficult to change relative to other health-risk behaviors.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Charlotte Eidenbenz and Petra Dermota for project management and to Caroline Bähler for her valuable input regarding physical activity. This work has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (33CS30_139467).

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Correspondence to Michelle Dey.

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Dey, M., Gmel, G., Studer, J. et al. Health-risk behaviors and quality of life among young men. Qual Life Res 23, 1009–1017 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-013-0524-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-013-0524-4

Keywords

  • Quality of life
  • Binge drinking
  • Smoking
  • Cannabis
  • Physical activity
  • Unsafe sex