Gender and age differences among current smokers in a general population survey

John, Ulrich; Hanke, Monika; Meyer, Christian; Schumann, Anja
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p57
Academic Journal
Background: Evidence suggests a higher proportion of current smokers among female than among male ever smokers at the age above 50. However, little is known about the proportion of current smokers among ever smokers in old age groups with consideration of women in comparison to men from general population samples. The goal was to analyze the proportions of current smokers among female and among male ever smokers including those older than 80. Methods: Cross-sectional survey study with a national probability household sample in Germany. Data of 179,472 participants aged 10 or older were used based on face-to-face in-home interviews or questionnaires. The proportions of current smokers among ever smokers were analyzed dependent on age, age of onset of smoking and cigarettes per day including effect modification by gender. Results: Proportions of current smokers tended to be larger among female than among male ever smokers aged 40 or above. Women compared to men showed adjusted odds ratios of 1.7 to 6.9 at ages 40 to 90 or older in contrast to men. No such interaction existed for age of onset of smoking or cigarettes per day. Conclusion: Special emphasis should be given to current smokers among the female general population at the age of 40 or above in public health intervention.


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