Two out of three men over 30 have at least two health risk factors, according to a report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
KIHASA surveyed 10,903 men and women over 30 on seven main health risk actors -- drinking, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, irregular meals, hypertension and high cholesterol. The report says that 43.9 percent of women and 66 percent of men in the study showed two or more risk factors.
The group with the most risk factors was men in their 40s with an average of 2.15. At the other end of the spectrum were women in their 40s with 1.16 factors.
Men were generally less conscious than women about managing their health.
The seven major health risk factors cause various illnesses and worsen health either independently or in association with one another.
The more risk factors, the more likely people are to suffer illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, depression, heart disease and stroke.
The study viewed seven shots of soju or more for men and five shots of soju for women in one sitting as excessive drinking. Lack of exercise meant taking a 30-minute walk less than four times a week.
Men started to make efforts to manage their health when they entered their 50s, as an increasing percentage quit smoking, exercised more, and ate regular meals.
But women started to develop more risk factors after they hit 50. A reduction of hormones resulting from menopause led to hypertension, hyperlipidemia and obesity.
In general, only nine percent of men and 16 percent of women had no health risk factors at all. Poor people were more exposed to risk, with those in the lowest income bracket having an average of 1.95 factors and those in the highest bracket 1.6.