Background: Although individual healthy lifestyle behaviors may reduce cardiovascular disease risk, few studies have analyzed the combined effect of multiple lifestyle components as one all-inclusive measure on such outcomes, much less in minority populations. Objective: We aimed to develop a Healthy Lifestyle Score (HLS) that included several lifestyle recommendations and to test its association with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and allostatic load (AL) and their cardiometabolic and neuroendocrine factors in Puerto Ricans. Methods: In a cross-sectional study in 787 Puerto Ricans living in Boston (aged 45-75 y), we developed an HLS that ranged from 0 to 190 (higher score indicative of healthier lifestyle) and included 5 components (diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviors, smoking, social support and network, and sleep). Multivariable-adjusted models were used to test associations between the HLS and biomarkers of dysregulation and odds of MetS and high AL (≥4 out of 10 components). Results: The HLS showed adequate internal consistency (ρ = 0.31-0.69) and was inversely associated with urinary cortisol (β ± SE = -0.22 ± 0.11; P = 0.042), epinephrine (-0.20 ± 0.09; P = 0.017), and norepinephrine (-0.26 ± 0.11; P = 0.016); waist circumference (-0.014 ± 0.004; P = 0.003); and serum insulin (-0.30 ± 0.13; P = 0.028) and positively associated with plasma HDL cholesterol (0.007 ± 0.003; P = 0.021) after adjustment for potential confounders. For each 20-unit increase in HLS, participants had 19% (95% CI: 2%, 33%) and 25% (11%, 36%) lower odds of MetS or AL, respectively. Healthier scores for social support and network and smoking components were associated with lower odds of high AL (P < 0.005). No significant associations were observed for other individual lifestyle components. Conclusions: Following an overall healthy lifestyle that comprises a combination of multiple behaviors may provide stronger protection against MetS and AL in Puerto Rican adults than individual components. The HLS may be a useful tool for examining health-related outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics