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Risk factors for non-communicable diseases at baseline and their short-Term changes in a workplace cohort in Singapore

  • Sathish, T
  • Dunleavy, G
  • Soljak, M
  • Visvalingam, N
  • Nazeha, N
  • Divakar, U
  • Bajpai, R
  • Thuan-Quoc, T
  • Cheung, KL
  • De Vries, H
  • Soh, C-K
  • Christopoulos, G
  • Car, J
Publication Date
Nov 12, 2019
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository


We aimed to examine the behavioural and clinical risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at baseline and their changes over 12 months in a workplace cohort in Singapore. A total of 464 full-time employees (age ≥ 21 years) were recruited from a variety of occupational settings, including offices, control rooms, and workshops. Of these, 424 (91.4%) were followed-up at three months and 334 (72.0%) were followed up at 12 months. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data on health behaviours and clinical measurements were performed by trained staff using standard instruments and protocols. Age-adjusted changes in risk factors over time were examined using generalized estimating equations or linear mixed-effects models where appropriate. The mean age of the participants at baseline was 39.0 (SD: 11.4) years and 79.5% were men. Nearly a quarter (24.4%) were current smokers, slightly more than half (53.5%) were alcohol drinkers, two-thirds (66%) were consuming <5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and 23.1% were physically inactive. More than two-thirds (67%) were overweight or obese and 34.5% had central obesity. The mean follow-up was 8.6 months. After adjusting for age, over 12 months, there was a significant increase in the proportion consuming <5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day by 33% (p = 0.030), who were physically inactive by 64% (p < 0.001), and of overweight or obese people by 15% (p = 0.018). The burden of several key NCD risk factors at baseline was high and some worsened within a short period of time in this working population. There is a need for more targeted strategies for behaviour change towards a healthy lifestyle as part of the ongoing health and wellness programs at workplaces in Singapore. View Full-Text

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