Objectives This study aimed to determine the association between community deprivation and poor health behaviours among South Korean adults. Design This was a survey-based cross-sectional study. Setting and participants Data of 224 552 participants from 244 communities were collected from the Korea Community Health Survey, conducted in 2015. Primary and secondary outcome measures We defined health behaviours by combining three variables: not smoking, not high-risk drinking and walking frequently. Community deprivation was classified into social and economic deprivation. Results Multilevel logistic analysis was conducted to determine the association of poor health behaviours through a hierarchical model (individual and community) for the 224 552 participants. Among them, 69.9% did not practice healthy behaviours. We found that a higher level of deprivation index was significantly associated with higher odds of not-practising healthy behaviours (Q3, OR: 1.15, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.31; Q4 (highest), OR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.39). Economic deprivation had a positive association with not-practising health behaviours while social deprivation had a negative association. Conclusion These findings imply that community deprivation levels may influence individual health behaviours. Accordingly, there is a need for enforcing the role of primary healthcare centres in encouraging a healthy lifestyle among the residents in their communities, developing national health policy guidelines for health equity and providing financial help to people experiencing community deprivation.
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