Characteristics of individuals with multiple behavioral risk factors for coronary heart disease: the Netherlands

Am J Public Health. 1982 Sep;72(9):986-91. doi: 10.2105/ajph.72.9.986.


To test the hypothesis that risk factors are interrelated, the simultaneous occurrence of smoking, inadequate nutrition, obesity, and physical inactivity was studied in a random sample (n = 1,951) of the Dutch adult population. Although the results did not suggest systematic clustering, the assumption of independence of these risk factors could not be maintained. Sociodemographic and health-related characteristics of the group with three or four risk factors were assessed (n = 246). Comparison with a prudent life-style group (zero risk factors, n = 387) by means by discriminant analysis indicated that the target group included proportionally more men (odds ratio: OR = 3.3), of all ages, with low education and occupation (OR = 3.5 and 1.7). The two groups did not differ in awareness of cardiovascular risk factors, preventive orientation regarding cardiovascular risk, or disease in general, and the effectiveness of health education in modifying life-style. The target group exhibited a distorted perception of the healthfulness of its own life-style and unfavorable attitudes toward modifying existing smoking, eating habits, and physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Obesity / complications
  • Risk
  • Smoking