Table 4

Cancer risk factors among homeless adults, by gendera

All (n = 221)Gender
Male (n = 120)Female (n = 101)
Exercise
 Daily125 (56%)76 (63%)49 (48%)
 Sometimes86 (39%)40 (33%)46 (46%)
 Never10 (5%)4 (3%)6 (6%)
BMIb
 Underweight (<18.5 BMI)5 (2.3%)1 (1%)4 (4%)
 Normal (18.5–24.9)89 (40%)53 (44%)36 (36%)
 Overweight (25.0–29.9)70 (32%)43 (36%)27 (27%)
 Obesity (30.0–39.9)50 (23%)22 (18%)28 (28%)
 Extreme obesity (40+)6 (2.7%)1 (1%)5 (5%)
Eating habits
 Eats vegetables yesterday171 (77%)93 (78%)78 (77%)
 Eats fruits yesterday137 (62%)69 (58%)68 (67%)
 Eats meat, beans, or eggs yesterday201 (91%)110 (92%)91 (90%)
Eat fast food in a typical week
 Every day8 (4%)5 (4%)4 (4%)
 Most days13 (6%)9 (8%)3 (3%)
 Some days113 (51%)66 (55%)47 (47%)
 Not at all87 (39%)40 (33%)47 (47%)
Current smoker157 (71%)89 (74%)69 (68%)
Alcohol
 Excessive drinker102 (46%)64 (53%)38 (38%)
 Drink a fifth of liquor in a day100 (45%)70 (58%)30 (30%)
 Drink every day in 2-week period89 (40%)59 (49%)30 (30%)
Skin factors
 Never uses sunscreen159 (72%)99 (83%)60 (59%)
 Never wears a hat82 (37%)30 (25%)52 (52%)
 Sits in the shade205 (93%)113 (95%)92 (91%)
  • a All findings nonsignificant.

  • b The BMI of the 220 participants ranged from 14.6–50 with an average of 26.98. BMI = (weight in pounds) × 704.5/(height in inches)2. “Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults,” NIH and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, June 1998.