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This study explores the associations between lifestyle and occupational factors and participation in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among men and women aged 50 and over and living in Australia. We used weighted data from the Australian National Health Survey 2014-15 to produce population estimates. Lifestyle variables investigated were smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, and body mass index, while the occupational variables were labour force status, occupation, and participation in shift work. Using weighted data, 1,990,287 men (55%) and 1,898,232 women (49%) reported ever-screening for CRC. Female current smokers were less likely to report ever-screening for CRC (adjusted RR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.64-0.96), as were men who were less physically active (aRR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.78-0.97), reported no alcohol consumption (aRR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.59-0.91), and reported eating more vegetables (aRR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.72-0.99). When lifestyle behaviours were combined into a healthy lifestyle index score, a significant trend was observed for both men and women, whereby those who reported engaging in more healthy behaviours were more likely to have ever-screened for CRC (p = .027 men; p < .001 women). No associations were observed between CRC screening and occupational variables. This is the first comprehensive assessment of the lifestyle and occupational factors associated with participation in CRC screening among men and women in Australia. Participation in CRC screening was greater among those engaging in more healthy behaviours, suggesting that an individual's pattern of lifestyle behaviours may be important in determining screening participation. These results have important implications for public health strategies on improving CRC screening participation.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Preventive medicine
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