BACKGROUND: Increasing life expectancies, burgeoning healthcare costs and an emphasis on the management of multiple health-risk behaviours point to a need to delineate health lifestyles in older adults.
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to delineate health lifestyles of a cohort of older adults and to examine the association of these lifestyles with biological and psychological states and socio-economic indices.
METHODS: Cluster analysis was applied to data derived from the self-reported 45 and Up cohort study (N = 96,276) of Australians over 45 years, regarding exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and cancer screening behaviours.
RESULTS: Six lifestyle clusters emerged delineated by smoking, screening and physical activity levels. Individuals within health-risk dominant clusters were more likely to be male, living alone, low-income earners, living in a deprived neighbourhood, psychologically distressed and experiencing low quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Health lifestyle cluster membership can be used to identify older adults at greatest risk for physical and psychological health morbidity.