Background: Smoking, poor nutrition, excess alcohol consumption, and insufficient physical activity underlie most preventable causes of morbidity in the general population and may be associated with comorbidities and health outcomes in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the frequency of co-occurrence of these risk factors in people with MS remains unclear. Methods: Sixty-nine individuals with MS completed self-report measures of smoking status, nutrition, alcohol use, physical activity levels, and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. The data were analyzed using t tests and χ2 analyses. Results: Poor diet was the most common risk factor, with 85.5% of the sample not meeting dietary guidelines. Of participants with two risk factors, 90.3% were not meeting dietary and physical activity guidelines. Seventy-three percent of women were not meeting physical activity guidelines, compared with 38% of men (χ2 = 7.5, P < .01). There were also differential rates by sex of the most commonly co-occurring risk factors: 65% of women reported the co-occurrence of insufficient physical activity and poor diet, compared with 38% of men (χ2 = 4.2, P = .05). Conclusions: These results indicate that 85.5% of the sample was not meeting nutrition guidelines, 90.3% of participants with two risk factors reported the co-occurrence of poor diet and insufficient levels of physical activity, and physical activity levels and the total number of risk factors varied across sex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing