: The aim of this paper is to analyze the co-occurrence of health risk behaviors (HRBs), namely, tobacco smoking, alcohol risk drinking, overeating, and physical inactivity, as well as their 16 combinations (patterns), which are stratified by age and gender. Methods
: The data of 19,294 study participants, from a telephone survey among the adult general population of Germany that was conducted in 2012, were analyzed. Results
: In adults, two or more of the four HBRs were found among 51.5% of females and 61.9% of males. The single most prevalent HRB pattern among all of the female (20.7, 19.6–21.8%) and male participants (18.2, 17.1–19.3%) was being overweight combined with a lack of physical activity, and its prevalence increased by 4% with each year of life. A multinomial regression analysis revealed that education was inversely associated with 11 of the 15 HRB patterns. The risk of having four, compared to zero, HRBs was 3.3 (2.5–4.4) for males relative to females. Conclusion
: Similar to the findings from other western countries, the majority of the participants in this adult national sample from Germany had two or more HRBs. The most common of all possible HRB patterns was overweight and inactivity. The data confirm inverse relations between education and most HRB patterns.
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