Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
The Association Between Education and Smoking Prevalence, Independent of Occupation: A Nationally Representative Survey in Japan
Kimiko TomiokaNorio KurumataniKeigo Saeki
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JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: JE20180195

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Abstract

Background: Higher smoking prevalence in less educated persons and manual workers is well known. This study examines the independent relationship of education and occupation with tobacco use.

Methods: We used anonymized data from a nationwide population survey (30,617 men and 33,934 women). Education was divided into junior high school, high school, or university attainment. Occupation was grouped into upper non-manual, lower non-manual, and manual. Poisson regression models stratified by age and gender were used to estimate adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for current smoking.

Results: After adjustment for covariates, education, and occupation, education was significantly related to current smoking in both genders; compared to university graduates, PRs of junior high school graduates aged 20–39, 40–64, and ≥65 were 1.74 (95% CI, 1.53–1.98), 1.50 (95% CI, 1.36–1.65), and 1.28 (95% CI, 1.08–1.50) among men, and 3.54 (95% CI, 2.92–4.30), 2.72 (95% CI, 2.29–3.23), and 1.74 (95% CI, 1.14–2.66) among women, respectively. However, significantly higher smoking prevalence in manual than in upper non-manual was found only in men aged 20–64; compared to upper non-manual, the PRs of manual workers aged 20–39, 40–64, and ≥65 were 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02–1.22), 1.18 (95% CI, 1.10–1.27), and 1.10 (95% CI, 0.89–1.37) among men, and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.75–1.20), 0.92 (95% CI, 0.75–1.12), and 0.46 (95% CI, 0.22–0.95) among women, respectively.

Conclusions: Independent of occupation, educational disparities in smoking existed, regardless of age and gender. Occupation-smoking relationship varied with age and gender. Our study suggests that we should pay attention to social inequality in smoking as well as national smoking prevalence.

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© 2019 Kimiko Tomioka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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