Objective: This study assessed clustering of multiple risk behaviors (i.e., low leisure-time physical activity, low fruits/vegetables intake, and high alcohol consumption) with level of cigarette consumption.
Methods: Data from the 2002 Swiss Health Survey, a population-based cross-sectional telephone survey assessing health and self-reported risk behaviors, were used. 18,005 subjects (8052 men and 9953 women) aged 25 years old or more participated.
Results: Smokers more frequently had low leisure time physical activity, low fruits/vegetables intake, and high alcohol consumption than non- and ex-smokers. Frequency of each risk behavior increased steadily with cigarette consumption. Clustering of risk behaviors increased with cigarette consumption in both men and women. For men, the odds ratios of multiple (> or =2) risk behaviors other than smoking, adjusted for age, nationality, and educational level, were 1.14 (95% confidence interval: 0.97, 1.33) for ex-smokers, 1.24 (0.93, 1.64) for light smokers (1-9 cigarettes/day), 1.72 (1.36, 2.17) for moderate smokers (10-19 cigarettes/day), and 3.07 (2.59, 3.64) for heavy smokers (> or =20 cigarettes/day) versus non-smokers. Similar odds ratios were found for women for corresponding groups, i.e., 1.01 (0.86, 1.19), 1.26 (1.00, 1.58), 1.62 (1.33, 1.98), and 2.75 (2.30, 3.29).
Conclusions: Counseling and intervention with smokers should take into account the strong clustering of risk behaviors with level of cigarette consumption.