Sex Differences in Clustering Unhealthy Lifestyles Among Survivors of COVID-19: Latent Class Analysis

Lan T H Le, Thi Ngoc Anh Hoang, Tan T Nguyen, Tien D Dao, Binh N Do, Khue M Pham, Vinh H Vu, Linh V Pham, Lien T H Nguyen, Hoang C Nguyen, Tuan V Tran, Trung H Nguyen, Anh T Nguyen, Hoan V Nguyen, Phuoc B Nguyen, Hoai T T Nguyen, Thu T M Pham, Thuy T Le, Thao T P Nguyen, Cuong Q TranHa-Linh Quach, Kien T Nguyen, Tuyen Van Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significance of adopting healthy lifestyles to mitigate the risk of severe outcomes and long-term consequences.

OBJECTIVE: This study focuses on assessing the prevalence and clustering of 5 unhealthy lifestyle behaviors among Vietnamese adults after recovering from COVID-19, with a specific emphasis on sex differences.

METHODS: The cross-sectional data of 5890 survivors of COVID-19 in Vietnam were analyzed from December 2021 to October 2022. To examine the sex differences in 5 unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (smoking, drinking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and sedentary behavior), the percentages were plotted along with their corresponding 95% CI for each behavior. Latent class analysis was used to identify 2 distinct classes of individuals based on the clustering of these behaviors: the "less unhealthy" group and the "more unhealthy" group. We examined the sociodemographic characteristics associated with each identified class and used logistic regression to investigate the factors related to the "more unhealthy" group.

RESULTS: The majority of individuals (male participants: 2432/2447, 99.4% and female participants: 3411/3443, 99.1%) exhibited at least 1 unhealthy behavior, with male participants being more susceptible to multiple unhealthy behaviors. The male-to-female ratio for having a single behavior was 1.003, but it escalated to 25 for individuals displaying all 5 behaviors. Male participants demonstrated a higher prevalence of combining alcohol intake with sedentary behavior (949/2447, 38.8%) or an unhealthy diet (861/2447, 35.2%), whereas female participants tended to exhibit physical inactivity combined with sedentary behavior (1305/3443, 37.9%) or an unhealthy diet (1260/3443, 36.6%). Married male participants had increased odds of falling into the "more unhealthy" group compared to their single counterparts (odds ratio [OR] 1.45, 95% CI 1.14-1.85), while female participants exhibited lower odds (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.51-0.83). Female participants who are underweight showed a higher likelihood of belonging to the "more unhealthy" group (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.89-1.39), but this was not observed among male participants (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.41-0.89). In both sexes, older age, dependent employment, high education, and obesity were associated with higher odds of being in the "more unhealthy" group.

CONCLUSIONS: The study identified notable sex differences in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors among survivors of COVID-19. Male survivors are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors compared to female survivors. These findings emphasize the importance of tailored public health interventions targeting sex-specific unhealthy behaviors. Specifically, addressing unhealthy habits is crucial for promoting post-COVID-19 health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e50189
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2024


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Latent Class Analysis
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Pandemics
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Life Style


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