IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 224: Sex-Specific Lifestyle and Biomedical Risk Factors for Chronic Disease among Early-Middle, Middle and Older Aged Australian Adults (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
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.