Influence of Family History of Cancer on Engagement in Protective Health Behaviors Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015, Copyright SHAPE America. Background: Approximately 1580 people die from cancer each day. Family history is highlighted as an especially important indicator of cancer risk. Purpose: To determine whether having a family member with cancer influences preventive behaviors (e.g., smoking, physical activity, and screenings). Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis (regression) of the 2014 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Results: The sample was primarily married (48%) females (61.37%; n=1614). Most participants had a family member diagnosed with cancer (64.33%; n=1661). Family history did not significantly influence routine screening behavior (=0.016, odds ratio [OR]=1.068, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7511.520, P=.708); lifetime smoking status (=0.04, OR=1.19, 95% CI, 0.841.69, P=.312); current smoking status (=0.022, OR=0.955, 95% CI, 0.4332.105, P=.907); or physical activity behavior (=0.04, 95% CI, 23.13 to 5.15, P=.207). Discussion When compared to those without a positive family history, respondents with a history of cancer did not engage in significantly different levels of protective lifestyle behaviors. Translation to Health Education Practice: Family history status is an influential factor on one's risk of disease and perhaps should be emphasized and incorporate into health education interventions.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Amuta, A. O., & Barry, A. E.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Amuta, Ann O||Barry, Adam E

publication date

  • May 2015