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Association of lifestyle factors and suboptimal health status: a cross-sectional study of Chinese students
  1. Jianlu Bi1,2,
  2. Ying Huang1,2,
  3. Ya Xiao1,2,
  4. Jingru Cheng1,2,
  5. Fei Li1,2,
  6. Tian Wang1,2,
  7. Jieyu Chen1,2,
  8. Liuguo Wu1,2,
  9. Yanyan Liu3,
  10. Ren Luo1,2,
  11. Xiaoshan Zhao1,2
  1. 1Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  2. 2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  3. 3Department of Rheumatic diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Ren Luo; and Dr Xiaoshan Zhao; zhaoxs0609{at}


Objectives Suboptimal health status (SHS) is considered to be an intermediate status between disease and health, and is characterised by a decline in vitality, in physiological function and in the capacity for adaptation. Although the incidence of SHS is high, the underlying causes remain unclear. Lifestyle is one of the most important factors affecting health status; however, the relationship between SHS and lifestyle has not been elucidated.

Design Cross-sectional survey.

Setting A questionnaire, based on ‘Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile-II (HPLP-II)’ and ‘Sub-Health Measurement Scale V1.0 (SHMS V1.0)’, was sent to four colleges in four districts (Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhanjiang and Shaoguan) of China between May and July 2013.

Participants A total of 12 429 questionnaires were distributed during the study period, and 11 144 completed responses were received.

Results The prevalence rates for the ‘healthy’, ‘SHS’ and ‘disease’ groups of respondents (students) were 22.81% (2542), 55.9% (6234) and 21.25% (2368), respectively. Most of the students reported a ‘moderate’ or ‘good’ lifestyle. There were significant differences in lifestyle and health status between the two genders. It was notable that health status was significantly positively correlated with lifestyle (r=0.563). For every dimension of the HPLP-II model, the mean values were lower for those participants who reported as ‘SHS’ or ‘disease’ than for those who reported that they were ‘healthy’. The individual dimensions of the HPLP-II model, including ‘spiritual growth’, ‘health responsibility’, ‘physical activity’, ‘interpersonal relations’ and ‘stress management’ were all related to SHS.

Conclusions Health status is significantly positively correlated with lifestyle. Poor lifestyle is a risk factor for SHS. Conversely, adopting a healthier lifestyle can improve SHS.

Trial registration number ChiCTR-OCH-12002317.


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