Association between social isolation and smoking in japan and england

Takaaki Ikeda, Noriko Cable, Masashige Saito, Shihoko Koyama, Taishi Tsuji, Taiji Noguchi, Katsunori Kondo, Ken Osaka, Jun Aida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Existing evidence suggest that those who are socially isolated are at risk for taking up or continuing smoking. This study investigated country-based differences in social isolation and smoking status. Methods: We performed a repeated cross-sectional study using two waves of data from two ongoing aging studies: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. Participants from both studies aged ≥65 years were included. We applied a multilevel Poisson regression model to examine the association between social isolation and smoking status and adjusted for individual sociodemographic characteristics. We used the social isolation index which comprises the following domains: marital status; frequency of contact with friends, family, and children; and participation in social activities. Interaction terms between each country and social isolation were also entered into the mode. Results: After exclusion of never smokers, we analyzed 75,905 participants (7,092 for ELSA and 68,813 for JAGES, respectively). Taking ex-smokers as the reference, social isolation was significantly associated with current smoking; the prevalence ratios (PRs) were 1.06 (95% credible interval [CrI], 1.05–1.08) for men and 1.08 (95% CrI, 1.04–1.11) for women. Taking Japan as a reference, the interaction term between country and social isolation was significant for both sexes, with increased PRs of 1.32 (95% CrI, 1.14–1.50) for men and 1.30 (95% CrI, 1.11–1.49) for women in England. Conclusions: Older people who were less socially isolated were more likely to quit smoking in England than in Japan, possibly explained by the strict tobacco control policies in England.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-529
Number of pages7
Journaljournal of epidemiology
Volume31
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • ELSA
  • JAGES
  • Smoking status
  • Social isolation
  • repeated cross-sectional study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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