Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Correlates of Smoking with Socioeconomic Status, Leisure Time Physical Activity and Alcohol Consumption among Polish Adults from Randomly Selected Regions

Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Correlates of Smoking with Socioeconomic Status, Leisure Time Physical Activity and Alcohol Consumption among Polish Adults from Randomly Selected Regions

Article excerpt

SUMMARY

Aim: To determine the association between smoking status and leisure time physical activity (LTPA), alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic status (SES) among Polish adults.

Material and methods: 466 randomly selected men and women (aged 18-66 years) responded to an anonymous questionnaire regarding smoking, alcohol consumption, LTPA, and SES. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association of smoking status with six socioeconomic measures, level of LTPA, and frequency and type of alcohol consumed. Smokers were defined as individuals smoking occasionally or daily.

Results: The odds of being smoker were 9 times (men) and 27 times (women) higher among respondents who drink alcohol several times/week or everyday in comparison to non-drinkers (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001). Among men with the elementary/vocational level of education the frequency of smoking was four times higher compared to those with the high educational attainment (p=0.007). Among women we observed that students were the most frequent smokers. Female students were almost three times more likely to smoke than non-professional women, and two times more likely than physical workers (p=0.018).

Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that among randomly selected Polish man and women aged 18-66 smoking and alcohol consumption tended to cluster. These results imply that intervention strategies need to target multiple risk factors simultaneously. The highest risk of smoking was observed among low educated men, female students, and both men and women drinking alcohol several times a week or every day. Information on subgroups with the high risk of smoking will help in planning future preventive strategies.

Key words: smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure time physical activity, socioeconomic status, adults

INTRODUCTION

Smoking is associated with increased incidences of various forms of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke, and is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1). A previous study documents that behavioural risk factors associated with smoking significantly increase the risk of harm to smokers' health (2). Some unhealthy behaviours may even work together to produce a greater risk than if the individual risks were simply added together (3, 4).

Smoking is one of the greatest public health concerns in European countries because its health consequences and large prevalence (5). Statistical data for 1 986-88 show that Poland has the highest level of cigarette consumption among East European countries (6), and that the population of Polish middle aged men has the highest proportions of death attributed to tobacco use (50%) (7). Between 1996 and 2004 a reduction in the number of smokers could be observed in Poland, but the percentage of daily smokers remains still high (33,9% men and 19,3% women) (8).

Studies of the relationships between smoking and socioeconomic factors show that in many countries the population groups at high risk of smoking are males, and people of young age, low income, and low educational status (9-14).

However, the results of research on the relationship between smoking status and other unhealthy behaviours, such as low level of leisure time physical activities (LTPA) and high alcohol consumption, are not clear. Several ero ss- sectional studies confirm a weak inverse relationship between LTPA and smoking (10, 15, 16). A review of over 50 articles reporting empirical relationships between smoking and physical activity shows that almost 60% of the studies reported a definitely negative association, but that relationship was often attenuated or reversed among adolescents and males and for moderate (vs. vigorous) exercise (17). Smoking men and women are characterized not only by lower LTPA, but also by increased frequency and amount of alcohol consumption compared to non-smokers (9, 10). However, the relationship between smoking and alcohol consumption is not confirmed in other study (18). …

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