Social inequality in cancer survivors’ health behaviours - A Danish population-based study

Karina Friis; Finn Breinholt Larsen; Claus Vinther Nielsen; Anne-Mette Hedeager Momsen; Christina Malmose Stapelfeldt

<![CDATA[The aim of this study was to compare health behaviours (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and diet), to explore social inequality in these behaviours among cancer survivors and individuals with no history of cancer, respectively, and to study the impact of time since diagnosis on cancer survivors’ health behaviours. Data from the Danish National Health Survey from 2013 were linked with data from the Danish Cancer Registry to identify all cancer diagnoses among the respondents during the period 1945–2012. In total, 11,166 cancer survivors and 151,117 individuals with no history of cancer were included. Cancer survivors smoked less and had a more sedentary lifestyle than individuals with no history of cancer. In relation to alcohol and dietary habits, no differences were found between the groups. Wide variations in health behaviours were seen across cancer sites, and in particular lung, bladder and oral cancer survivors had poor health behaviours. We found a clear social gradient in cancer survivors’ health behaviours which reveals the need for greater focus on socially differentiated initiatives within prevention and patient education for cancer survivors. Our study revealed rather blurred results in relation to identifying the optimal timing for health-related behavioural interventions in cancer survivors.]]>

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