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Sex-Specific Lifestyle and Biomedical Risk Factors for Chronic Disease among Early-Middle, Middle and Older Aged Australian Adults

Metabolic and Vascular Physiology, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
Food and Mood Centre, Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 224;
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, NCDs and Health Promotion)
PDF [1107 KB, uploaded 15 January 2019]


Evidence suggests age and sex differences in risk factors for chronic disease. This study examined lifestyle and biomedical risk factors among men (m) and women (w) in early-middle (25–51 years), middle (52–64) and older (65+) adulthood. Cross-sectional data from the 2011–2012 Australian Health Survey (n = 3024) were analysed. Self-reported dietary, activity, sleep behaviours and collected biomedical data were analysed. Early-middle adults failed to meet fruit, vegetable (95.3%) and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB, 34.9%) recommendations. Older adults had higher prevalence of overweight/obesity (70%), high blood pressure (38.0%) and fewer met physical activity guidelines (36.3%). Prior to older adulthood, more men consumed SSBs (early-middle m 45.6%, w 24.4%; middle m 26.0%, w 19.3%), and fewer met sedentary behaviour recommendations (early-middle m 43.2%, w 62.1%; middle m 46.4%, w 63.9%). Differences in overweight/obese women in early-middle (44.8%) to middle adulthood (64.7%) were significant. Biomedical risk was greatest in middle age; abnormal cholesterol/lipids increased specifically for women (total cholesterol early-middle 24.9% middle 56.4%; abnormal LDL-cholesterol early-middle 23.1% middle 53.9%). Adherence to lifestyle guidelines was low; particularly among men. While men exhibited greater clinical risk overall, this significantly increased among women in middle-adulthood. Public health strategies to improve lifestyle, monitor and intervene among middle-aged women are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk factors; lifestyle; biomedical; chronic disease; sex risk factors; lifestyle; biomedical; chronic disease; sex

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Dash, S.R.; Hoare, E.; Varsamis, P.; Jennings, G.L.R.; Kingwell, B.A. Sex-Specific Lifestyle and Biomedical Risk Factors for Chronic Disease among Early-Middle, Middle and Older Aged Australian Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 224.

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