Document Type



Health care providers are in a unique position to address patients' health behaviors and social determinants of health, factors like income and social support that can significantly impact health. There is a need to better understand the risk behaviors of a population that providers may counsel (i.e., those who are insured and have a provider.) Using the 2015 and 2016 CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we examine the prevalence of health behaviors and the existence of disparities in health behaviors based on social determinants among American adults. Our sample included noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 to 64 years, in the U.S. (N > 300,000). We used multivariate logistic regression analysis to assess the independent effects of income, education, sex, race, and metropolitan status on nine key health behaviors. Among adults with insurance and a provider (n > 200,000): 1) rates of engaging in poor health behaviors ranged from 6.4% (heavy drinking) to 68.1% (being overweight or obese), 2) rural residence, lower income, and lower education were associated with decreased clinical preventive services, 3) lower income and lower education were associated with lifestyle-related risks, and 4) being black was associated with receiving more cancer screenings, no influenza vaccination, inadequate physical activity, and being overweight or obese. Insured adults, with a provider, are not meeting recommended guidelines for health behaviors. Significant disparities in health behaviors related to social factors exist among this group. Health care providers and organizations may find it helpful to consider these poor health behaviors and disparities when determining strategies to address SDOH.



Publication Date


Original Citation

Hughes, M. C., Baker, T. A., Kim, H., & Valdes, E. G. (2019). Health behaviors and related disparities of insured adults with a health care provider in the United States, 2015–2016. Preventive medicine, 120, 42-49.

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School of Nursing and Health Studies





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