Health Behaviors and Health-Related Quality of Life Among U.S. Adults Aged 18–64 Years

Published:January 06, 2021DOI:


      This study aims to (1) describe the prevalence and clustering of 3 health behaviors, (2) examine the association between individual health behaviors and health-related quality of life, and (3) explore the association between the clustering of the health behaviors and health-related quality of life.


      Investigators analyzed a sample of U.S. adults aged 18–64 years using data from the 2016–2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in March 2020. Logistic regression models examined the associations among 3 healthy behaviors (currently not smoking, physical activity, and nonheavy alcohol consumption) and 4 indicators of health-related quality of life (general health, physical health, mental health, and activity limitation). Alpha was set at 0.01.


      A total of 450,870 individuals were included in the analysis (weighted n=100,102,329). Of these, 82.0% were current nonsmokers, 92.8% were nonheavy drinkers, and 77.6% reported physical activity. The prevalence of having none, 1, 2, and 3 of the health behaviors was 0.7%, 7.7%, 30.1%, and 61.5%, respectively. Smoking status and physical activity status were significantly associated with all the 4 health-related quality of life indicators. Alcohol status was significantly associated with mental health and activity limitation. The associations demonstrated a higher health-related quality of life among individuals who reported healthy behaviors than among those who did not engage in healthy behaviors. Compared with respondents who reported none of the health behaviors, people with all 3 health behaviors were more likely to report higher health-related quality of life.


      Health behaviors were significantly associated with health-related quality of life among U.S. adults. Healthy behaviors should be encouraged because adopting these behaviors may contribute to a higher health-related quality of life.
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