Clustering of health and risk behaviour in immigrant and indigenous Dutch residents aged 19-40 years.


Reijneveld, Sijmen A. and Nieuwenhuijzen, Maroesjka and Klein Velderman, Mariska and Paulussen, Theo G.W.M. and Junger, Marianne (2012) Clustering of health and risk behaviour in immigrant and indigenous Dutch residents aged 19-40 years. International journal of public health, 57 (2). 351 - 361. ISSN 1661-8556

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Studies on the co-occurrence, ‘clustering’ of health and other risk behaviours among immigrants from non-industrialised countries lack until now. The aim of this study was to compare this clustering in immigrant and indigenous adults.

A representative sample (N = 2,982; response 71%) of the Dutch population aged 19–40, with 247 respondents from non-industrialized countries (Turkey, Morocco, Surinam, Netherlands Antilles), was asked about health behaviours (alcohol, smoking, drugs, unsafe sex, exercise, nutrition, sleep behaviour, traffic behaviour), and about rule-breaking behaviour and aggression. Data were collected using internet questionnaires, which excluded respondents unable to read Dutch.

Among indigenous adults, health and risk behaviours co-occur in three clusters (alcohol, health-enhancing behaviour, and rule-breaking behaviour), whereas among immigrant groups two clusters were found (alcohol and rule-breaking behaviour/smoking). Differences mostly concerned health-enhancing behaviours such as nutrition, which was not part of any cluster, and physical activity.

This supports an integrated promotion of healthier lifestyles to immigrants who are able to read Dutch. Regarding potentially risky behaviours like alcohol use and rule-breaking behaviours, this could be similar to that for indigenous people
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