The influence of housing tenure and marital status on smoking in South Korea
Objective This study aimed to identify the most influential socioeconomic indicator of smoking in South Korea.Methods This study analyzed a nationally representative sample (6141 men and 7133 women aged 20-65) from the 2001 and 2005 Korea National Health and Nutrition Surveys. Weighted estimates were computed, adjusting for a complex survey design using "surveyfreq" and "surveylogistic" procedures of SAS 9.1 software.Results The adjusted OR for smoking in renters compared to homeowners was 1.50 (95% CI: 1.32-1.71) in men and 3.21 (95% CI: 2.41-4.27) in women, and larger in the older than younger groups. For non-married versus married individuals, the OR was 1.37 (95% CI: 1.19-1.59) in men and 3.25 (95% CI: 2.48-4.25) in women; the OR in non-married renters compared married homeowners was 1.79 (95% CI: 1.45-2.22) in men and 10.63 (95% CI: 7.31-15.45) in women.Conclusion Housing tenure was a strong predictor of smoking in South Korea and its significance was very pronounced in non-married individuals. Housing policies to encourage homeownership could be effective in reducing smoking in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam where house ownership is regarded as the ultimate financial safeguard, there are numerous, and traditional attitudes toward marriage are undergoing transition.
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