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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

A cross-sectional survey and latent class analysis of the prevalence and clustering of health risk factors among people attending an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Natasha E Noble, Christine L Paul, Nicole Turner, Stephen V Blunden, Christopher Oldmeadow, Heidi E Turon
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

NN developed the study materials, conducted data collection, undertook analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. CP made substantial contributions to the study conception and design, provided support during data collection, and assisted with drafting and revision of the manuscript. NT and SB provided feedback on study design and specific study materials, facilitated and provided assistance with data collection, and provided critical feedback and revision of the manuscript. CO provided expert advice and oversaw statistical analysis and provided critical feedback and revision of the manuscript. HT made substantial contributions to study implementation and provided critical feedback and revision of the manuscript. All authors have given final approval for this version of the manuscript to be published.



Indigenous Australians are a socially disadvantaged group who experience significantly poorer health and a higher prevalence of modifiable health behaviours than other Australians. Little is known about the clustering of health risks among Indigenous Australians.
The aims of this study were to describe the clustering of key health risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption, and socio-demographics associated with clusters, among a predominantly Aboriginal sample.


Participants (n = 377) attending an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) in regional/rural New South Wales, Australia, in 2012–2013 completed a self-report touch screen health risk survey. Clusters were identified using latent class analysis.


Cluster 1 (‘low fruit/vegetable intake, lower risk’; 51 %) consisted of older men and women; Cluster 2 (‘risk taking’; 22 %) included younger unemployed males with a high prevalence of smoking, risky alcohol, and illicit drug use. Cluster 3 (‘inactive, overweight, depressed’; 28 %) was characterised by younger to mid aged women likely to have experienced emotional or physical violence.


If future research identifies similar stable clusters of health behaviours for this population, intervention approaches targeting these clusters of risk factors should be developed and tested for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
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