Clustering of lifestyle risk behaviours among residents of forty deprived neighbourhoods in London: lessons for targeting public health interventions

J Public Health (Oxf). 2016 Jun;38(2):308-15. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv028. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Background: Clustering of lifestyle risk behaviours is very important in predicting premature mortality. Understanding the extent to which risk behaviours are clustered in deprived communities is vital to most effectively target public health interventions.

Methods: We examined co-occurrence and associations between risk behaviours (smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet, low physical activity and high sedentary time) reported by adults living in deprived London neighbourhoods. Associations between sociodemographic characteristics and clustered risk behaviours were examined. Latent class analysis was used to identify underlying clustering of behaviours.

Results: Over 90% of respondents reported at least one risk behaviour. Reporting specific risk behaviours predicted reporting of further risk behaviours. Latent class analyses revealed four underlying classes. Membership of a maximal risk behaviour class was more likely for young, white males who were unable to work.

Conclusions: Compared with recent national level analysis, there was a weaker relationship between education and clustering of behaviours and a very high prevalence of clustering of risk behaviours in those unable to work. Young, white men who report difficulty managing on income were at high risk of reporting multiple risk behaviours. These groups may be an important target for interventions to reduce premature mortality caused by multiple risk behaviours.

Keywords: population-based and preventative services; public health; socioeconomic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty*
  • Psychosocial Deprivation
  • Public Health
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult