Contribution of smoking and air pollution exposure in urban areas to social differences in respiratory health

Schikowski, Tamara; Sugiri, Dorothee; Reimann, Verena; Pesch, Beate; Ranft, Ulrich; Krämer, Ursula
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p179
Academic Journal
Background: Socio-economic status, smoking, and exposure to increased levels of environmental air pollution are associated with adverse effects on respiratory health. We assessed the contribution of occupational exposures, smoking and outdoor air pollution as competing factors for the association between socio-economic status and respiratory health indicators in a cohort of women from the Ruhr area aged 55 at the time of investigation between 1985 and 1990. Methods: Data of 1251 women with spirometry and complete questionnaire information about respiratory diseases, smoking and potential confounders were used in the analyses. Exposure to large-scale air pollution was assessed with data from monitoring stations. Exposure to small-scale air pollution was assessed as traffic-related exposure by distance to the nearest major road. Socio-economic status was defined by educational level. Multiple regression models were used to estimate the contribution of occupational exposures, smoking and outdoor air pollution to social differences in respiratory health. Results: Women with less than 10 years of school education in comparison to more than 10 years of school education were more often occupationally exposed (16.4% vs. 10.1%), smoked more often (20.3% vs. 13.9%), and lived more often close to major roads (26.0% vs. 22.9%). Long-term exposure to increased levels of PM10 was significantly associated with lower school education. Women with low school education were more likely to suffer from respiratory symptoms and had reduced lung function. In the multivariate analysis the associations between education and respiratory health attenuated after adjusting for occupational exposure, smoking and outdoor air pollution. The crude odds ratio for the association between the lung function indicator FEV1 less than 80% of predicted value and educational level (<10 years vs. >10 years of school education) was 1.83 (95% CI: 1.22-2.74). This changed to 1.56 (95% CI: 1.03-2.37) after adjusting for occupational exposure, smoking and outdoor air pollution. Conclusion: We found an association between socio-economic status and respiratory health. This can partly be explained by living conditions indicated by occupational exposure, smoking behaviour and ambient air pollution. A relevant part of the social differences in respiratory health, however, remained unexplained.


Related Articles

  • Social gradients in health in non-smokers.  // BMJ: British Medical Journal (Overseas & Retired Doctors Edition;7/2/2011, Vol. 343 Issue 7813, p30 

    The article presents the result of the study conducted by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which highlights that people who never smoked had much better survival rates and health status compared to smokers.

  • Smoking in most deprived parts of England is double that in wealthiest areas. Wise, Jacqui // BMJ: British Medical Journal;3/22/2014, Vol. 348 Issue 7950, p5 

    The article discusses an analysis from the Office of National Statistics which confirms the strong association between prevalence of smoking and levels of deprivation in England, finding people living in the most depressed areas were twice as likely to smoke than those living in wealthiest parts.

  • Persistence of socioeconomic differences in adolescents’ environmental tobacco smoke exposure in Finland: 1991—2009. Raisamo, Susanna U; Doku, David T; Heloma, Antero; Rimpelä, Arja H // Scandinavian Journal of Public Health;Mar2014, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p184 

    Aims: Socioeconomic differences in children’s exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in favour of those with higher positions are known, but research is scarce on whether differences have persisted when smoking restrictions have been tightened. We examined socioeconomic differences...

  • ETHNIC AND SOCIAL DIFFERENCES IN CHILDHOOD OBESITY -- ROMA AND NON-ROMA GROUPS IN SLOVAKIA. Rimárová, K.; Rimár, V. // Central European Journal of Public Health;Nov2007 Supplement, pS22 

    Background: Childhood obesity is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and poses one of the major cardiovascular risk in adulthood. Prevalence of obesity has globally worldwide increasing trend among schoolchildren and youths. Central and Eastern European countries are dealing with...

  • Smoking ban studies show now proof businesses are hurt. O'Connor, Terry // New Orleans CityBusiness (1994 to 2008);5/19/2003, Vol. 23 Issue 47, p27 

    Comments on the impact of smoking bans on the restaurant business in the U.S. Variation in restaurant revenues; Enforcement of clean indoor air ordinances; Increase in hotel and restaurant receipts.

  • Smoking in Tribal Casinos. Schoen, Lawrence J. // ASHRAE Journal;Jun2013, Vol. 55 Issue 6, p72 

    A personal narrative is presented which explores the author's experience of speaking about indoor air quality in a tribal gaming facility where indoor smoking is allowed.

  • The Formation of the Rising Generation Under the Conditions of Social Differentiation in Russia. Shabunova, A. // Russian Education & Society;Jun2008, Vol. 50 Issue 6, p6 

    The article discusses the rising generation of Russians under the condition of social differentiation. The transformation in the country's society that took place in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has led to rapid rise in social and economic distinction. According to official data, the...

  • The Changing Family Background of the Low-Educated in the Netherlands: Socio-Economic, Cultural, and Socio-Demographic Resources. Gesthuizen, Maurice; de Graaf, Paul M.; Kraaykamp, Gerbert // European Sociological Review;Dec2005, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p441 

    This article addresses two questions: (a) to what extent have the effects of family background on leaving school without qualifications changed over time in the Netherlands, and (b) to what extent have the background family characteristics of the unqualified changed. We estimate discrete-time...

  • Time trends of myocardial infarction 28-day case-fatality in the 1990s: is there a contribution from different changes among socioeconomic classes? Fornari, C.; Cesana, G. C.; Chambless, L. E.; Corrao, G.; Borchini, H.; Madotto, F.; Ferrario, M. M. // Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health;Jul2008, Vol. 62 Issue 7, p593 

    Background/objective: Almost two-thirds of the coronary death rate decrease in the northern Italian Brianza MONICA male population, between 1993-4 and 1997-8, are attributable to a reduction in 28-day myocardial infarction CMII case-fatality. The present paper investigates the factors associated...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics