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05.02.2018 | Ausgabe 2/2018

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2/2018

Behavioral Health Risk Factors: the Interaction of Personal and Country Effects

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Ausgabe 2/2018
Autoren:
Teresa García-Muñoz, Shoshana Neuman, Tzahi Neuman

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the relationship between the individual’s self-assessed health status (SAHS) and health-risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity), in 16 European countries. The associations were studied for the individual and for the country measures—and in particular, for the unexplored aspect of interaction between individual and country levels of the three risk factors.

Method

Data for 47,114 adults, who participated in the Survey of Health Aging and Retirement Europe (SHARE), were analyzed using Multilevel Regression Analysis. The individual data were complemented by OECD data that provided country-specific risk measures: percentage of daily smokers, annual per-capita consumption of alcohol (liters), and percentage of obese individuals.

Results

We found that the individual’s SAHS is negatively associated with smoking and with weight-risk factors and is positively associated with her/his alcohol consumption. The most pronounced associations relate to the weight variables, albeit they are attenuated in countries with higher percentages of obese individuals. Significant differences across countries were evidenced in the association between SAHS and smoking and between SAHS and alcohol consumption.

Conclusion

Individual health levels are associated with individual risk factors and also with the behaviors in the country. Significant interactions might indicate that psychological factors are at work.

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