The Health Survey for England 2017 – Adult multiple risk factors

New analysis shows the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours in adults and the number of those with more than one risk factor to their health. A multiple risk score is calculated by combining information on whether individuals:

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week4
  • Eat fewer than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Are obese
  • Have low physical activity.

13% of adults had no risk factors, and 36% had only one risk. 32% of adults had a combination of two risks and 19% had three or more.

Men are more likely (54%) than women (47%) to have two or more risk factors. The pattern of combinations of risk factors varied between men and women.

Regionally, the West Midlands (58%) had the highest proportion of adults with two or more risk factors while London had the lowest (43%).

Adults in the lowest income households (26%) were twice as likely as those in highest income households (13%) to have three or more risk factors.

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