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Keywords:

  • stress;
  • lifestyle;
  • community

Abstract

Objective: To describe and evaluate the relationship between stress and other lifestyle behaviors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study within the context of an Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP). Demographic details (age, gender, marital status and educational level) and lifestyle variables including diet (fruit and vegetable consumption), smoking status, daily physical activity and psychological distress were recorded. Data were analyzed by t-test, χ2 and logistic regression.

Setting: Central Iranian country of Isfahan, Najaf-Abad and Arak.

Participants: Five thousand and eight hundred and ninety-two adults over 19 years of age.

Results: Mean age of all participants was 40.5 (15.4) years and 36 per cent of them had high stress levels. High stress levels were negatively associated with fruit and vegetable consumption, non-smoking and marriage. Conversely, the female gender and less than 6 years of education were positively associated with stress levels. Physical activity was not found to be associated with stress.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated an association between high stress levels and other unhealthy lifestyle factors. Hence, special attention must be paid to intervention programs aimed at modifying lifestyle and providing education on stress management techniques. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.