Background: Individuals who are not adherent to colorectal cancer screening have a greater prevalence of several other behavioral risk factors for colorectal cancer than adherent individuals. However, previous relevant studies have typically not considered the co-occurrence of such behavioral risk factors at the individual level. In the current study, we examined the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of multiple behavioral risk factors for colorectal cancer according to colorectal cancer screening status (adherent versus not adherent). Methods: The study sample consisted of 11,090 individuals ages 50 years and older who participated in the 2000 National Health Interview Survey. Based on responses to survey questions, individuals were categorized as being adherent or not adherent to colorectal cancer screening guidelines and were also denoted as having or not having each of seven behavioral risk factors for colorectal cancer (smoking, low physical activity, low fruit and vegetable intake, high caloric intake from fat, obesity, high alcohol intake, and low intake of multivitamins). Results: Individuals who were not adherent to screening reported having a greater number of risk factors than adherent individuals. For each screening group, there was a high prevalence of having low physical activity, low fruit and vegetable intake, and low intake of multivitamins. Demographic and health-related correlates of behavioral risk factor prevalence were identified in both screening groups. Conclusions: In combination with efforts to promote colorectal cancer screening uptake and adherence, there is a need to develop interventions to modify the colorectal cancer behavioral risk factors that are common among screening-adherent and nonadherent individuals.
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