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Objective: To examine the associations between family history of major chronic diseases and healthy lifestyle in adults in China. Methods: Data were from the baseline and second survey of China Kadoorie Biobank study, which were conducted during 2004-2008 and 2013-2014, respectively. After excluding participants with self-reported histories of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer or diabetes, a total of 461 213 adults from baseline survey and 20 583 adults from second survey were included in the current study. Participants who reported a family history of acute myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, or diabetes of any first-degree relative (i.e., biological father, mother, or siblings) were defined as having a family history of major chronic diseases. Healthy lifestyles were defined as current nonsmoking, non-excessive alcohol drinking, eating vegetables and fruits daily, upper quarter of physical activity level, body mass index (BMI) of (18.5-23.9) kg/m(2), and waist- to-hip ratio (WHR) <0.90 (man)/<0.85 (women). Results: At baseline survey, 36.5% of the participants had family history of major chronic diseases. Proportions of the above six healthy lifestyles were 70.5%, 93.0%, 18.0%, 25.0%, 53.4%, and 43.5%, respectively. Compared with participants without family history, the proportions of current nonsmoking, non-excessive drinking, normal BMI, and normal WHR were lower in participants with family history of major chronic diseases, while the proportions of eating vegetables and fruits daily, and being physically active, were higher. In general, the absolute differences in these proportions between participants with and without a family history were only slight. Similar results were observed when other family history status (the type or number of disease, the category or number of affected family members) were analysed. The association between family history of major chronic diseases and healthy lifestyles was consistently observed in the second survey 10 years later. Conclusion: In Chinese population, adults with family history of major chronic diseases did not adopt healthier lifestyles.

Original publication




Journal article


Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi

Publication Date





1537 - 1543


Chronic disease, Family history, Healthy lifestyles, Adult, Body Mass Index, China, Chronic Disease, Female, Healthy Lifestyle, Humans, Risk Factors, Waist-Hip Ratio