Gender and Race Differences in the Association between Smoking Behavior and Body Mass Index

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Introduction: Obesity is an increasing public health burden in the USA. According to the National Obesity Trends, about one-third adults in the USA are obese. What is worse, this trend keeps increasing during the past twenty years. Appalachian region has higher prevalence for obesity and diabetes comparing with other places in the USA. Body Mass Index (BMI), as an important measure for obesity, is useful for determining effective preventions for obesity. However, as the most common index for obesity, BMI is influenced by other variables such as smoking, alcohol and physical activity. A single indicator is not enough to measure the complicated factors which lead to obesity and so do interventions to prevent obesity. This study is aimed to study the influence of race and gender differences in the association between smoking and alcohol consumption and BMI. Methods: We obtained data from the Health Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. This sample consists of 1663 European American (EA) and 1139 African American (AA) individuals (1367 males and 1435 females). Phenotypes include age, BMI, smoking and alcohol drinking status. The SASv9.2 was used to perform the data analysis. Firstly, the Wilcoxon ranks test was used to compares the gender differences in continuous variables such as age and BMI while chi-square test was used to test gender differences for binary variables such as alcohol and smoking status. Then, multiple general linear model (GLM) was used to test the association of alcohol drinking and smoking behaviors with BMI. Results: For the whole sample, multiple GLM showed age (pConclusion: There are gender and race differences in the association between smoking behavior and BMI. This discovery helps us to tailor interventions for different subgroups. For the future prevention of obesity by controlling BMI, the factors of gender and race/ethnicity should be taken into account.


Johnson City, TN

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