Individual lifestyle risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of mortality. However, limited evidence is available on the combined association of lifestyle risk factors with mortality in non-Western populations. The analysis included 37,472 participants (aged ≥19 years) in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2007–2014) for whom the data were linked to death certificates/medical records through December 2016. A lifestyle risk score was created using five unhealthy behaviors: current smoking, high-risk alcohol drinking, unhealthy weight, physical inactivity, and insufficient/prolonged sleep. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). During up to 9 years of follow-up, we documented 1,057 total deaths. Compared to individuals with zero lifestyle risk factor, those with 4–5 lifestyle risk factors had 2.01 times (HR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.43–2.82) and 2.59 times (HR = 2.59, 95% CI = 1.24–5.40) higher risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively. However, higher lifestyle risk score was not significantly associated with cancer mortality (p-trend >0.05). In stratified analyses, the positive associations tended to be stronger in adults aged <65 years, unemployed, and those with lower levels of education. In conclusion, combined unhealthy lifestyle behaviors were associated with substantially increased risk of total and cardiovascular mortality in Korean adults.
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