Co-occurrence of behavioral risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases in adolescents: Prevalence and associated factors

ABSTRACT Objective To examine the prevalence of the behavioral risk factors – both isolated and clustered – for chronic diseases, among adolescents. Additionally, its association with various social and demographic variables was estimated. Methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted on 1,039 high school students, from public and private schools, elected for convenience, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A Chi-square test, Mann-Whitney U test, as well as crude and adjusted ordinal logistic regression were used to assess the association between the variables. Results The most frequently observed risk factors were sedentary behavior (68.8%), alcohol consumption (36.8%), and overweight (26.8%). The clustering of risk factors was observed in 67.5% of the students. Being a girl (OR=1.28; 95%CI=1.01–1.63), Caucasian (OR=1.35; 95%CI=1.06–1.72) or private school student (OR=1.46; 95%CI=1.12–1.88) increased the chance of the clustering of risk factors. The co-occurrence of risk factors was predominantly observed in the case of smoking (OR=4.94; 95%CI=1.46–16.75), alcohol consumption (OR=1.43; 95%CI=1.09–1.88), high consumption of ultra-processed foods (OR=1.57; 95%CI=1.19–2.07), and sedentary behavior (OR=1.40; 95%CI=1.07–1.82). Conclusion The co-occurrence of behavioral risk factors was observed to be higher among girls, Caucasian adolescents, and private school students, as well as, among smokers, alcohol users and adolescents with sedentary habits and a high consumption of ultra-processed foods.