International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
This study aimed to identify whether cancer-related health behaviours including participation in cancer screening vary by geographic location in Australia. Data were obtained from the 2014–2015 Australian National Health Survey, a computer-assisted telephone interview that measured a range of health-related issues in a sample of randomly selected households. Chi-square tests and adjusted odds ratios from logistic regression models were computed to assess the association between residential location and cancer-related health behaviours including cancer screening participation, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, and fruit and vegetable intake, controlling for age, socio-economic status (SES), education, and place of birth. The findings show insufficient exercise, risky alcohol intake, meeting vegetable intake guidelines, and participation in cervical screening are more likely for those living in inner regional areas and in outer regional/remote areas compared with those living in major cities. Daily smoking and participation in prostate cancer screening were significantly higher for those living in outer regional/remote areas. While participation in cancer screening in Australia does not appear to be negatively impacted by regional or remote living, lifestyle behaviours associated with cancer incidence and mortality are poorer in regional and remote areas. Population-based interventions targeting health behaviour change may be an appropriate target for reducing geographical disparities in cancer outcomes.
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