Characteristics of smokers, nonsmokers and ex smokers among 10,000 adult males in Israel. I. Distribution of selected sociodemographic and behavioral variables and the prevalence of disease

U. Goldbourt, J. H. Medalie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of nonsmokers and smokers were compared in a large sample of working men aged 40 to 65 yr. The prevalence of several diseases was compared. There was a significantly higher percentage of smokers among those born in the Middle East (outside Israel) and North Africa. Smokers were characterized by crowded housing (a high number of persons per room); low levels of education; little leisure time physical activity; and a tendency to be nonreligious. Current cigarette smoking gradually decreased with age, while smoking a cigar or pipe only, increased. The demographic and behavioral profile of current smokers in general, and of 'heavy' (≥21 cigarettes/day) smokers in particular, resembled that of those who had smoked at any time. Both the current and the 'heavy' smokers were more often later immigrants to Israel, had more children, and were physically active at work, frequently being engaged in manual labor or technical work. Prevalence of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, definite peripheral arterial diseasem intermittent cladication andpeptic ulcer was significantly higher among those, who had smoked at any time. Apart from silent myocardial infarction and intermittent claudication, subjects with these conditions also included a significantly higher percentage of former smokers. Former smoking was also related to age, number of years in the country, less crowding at home, low activity at work, and a low calorie intake (particularly of protein and carbohydrates).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1101
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Volume11
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

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