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1.  The Correlation Between Lipid Profile and Stress Levels in Central Iran: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):102-106.
Previous studies suggest that mental status may influence serum lipid levels. This study was conducted on adult population living in rural and urban areas in Central Iran to assess the correlation between stress level and lipid profile disorders.
Data was extracted from final evaluation of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) in 2008. Multistage and random cluster methods were used for sampling. The study population consisted of 9752 adults aged ≥19 years living in three districts namely Isfahan, Arak and Najaf Abad. Demographic data, age and sex were recorded. Blood samples were taken to determine the lipid levels including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides. Stress levels were assessed using the General Health Questionnaire. Logistic regression and chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis.
The odds ratios of high stress in individuals with high levels of TC, LDL-C and low levels of HDL-C compared to normal individuals after adjustment for age and sex were as follows respectively: 1.05 (1.02,1.15), 1.06 (1.02,1.18), 1.06 (1.01,1.17).
Intervention activities towards reduction of stress levels at the community level may be useful as part of the strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention.
PMCID: PMC3347824  PMID: 22577424
Cholesterol; Triglycerides; Stress; Adult
2.  The effectiveness of stress management intervention in a community-based program: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):176-183.
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of stress management training in improving the ability of coping with stress in a large population.
Five cross-sectional studies using multistage cluster random sampling were performed on adults aged ≥ 19 years between 2000 to 2005 in Isfahan and Najafabad (Iran) as intervention cities and Arak, Iran as the control city within the context of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Stress management training was adapted according to age and education levels of the target groups. In a 45-minute home interview, demographic data, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and stress management questionnaires were collected. Data was analyzed by t-test, linear regression and general linear model.
Trends of both adaptive and maladaptive coping skills and GHQ scores from baseline to the last survey were statistically significant in both intervention and reference areas (P < 0.001). While adaptive coping skills increased significantly, maladaptive coping skills decreased significantly in the intervention areas. Furthermore, stress levels decreased significantly in the intervention compared to the reference area.
Stress management programs could improve coping strategies at the community level and can be considered in designing behavioral interventions
PMCID: PMC3413087  PMID: 23205052
Stress Management; Community; Intervention; Coping Strategies
3.  Is Friedewald formula a good estimation for low density lipoprotein level in Iranian population? 
Serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) level is an important biomarker for coronary artery disease (CAD). As direct LDL measurement is expensive and not cost effective, especially in a large population, it is estimated by Friedewald formula. Therefore, we decided to compare the direct LDL measurement method with LDL measured by Friedewald formula in a large general population for the first time in Iran. Furthermore, we examined the association of total cholesterol (TCh), triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) with LDL.
Subjects and Methods:
This study was conducted on the subjects, aged 11–97 years, in the third phase of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) from three cities: Isfahan, Najafabad, and Arak. A fasting blood sample was taken from all subjects and referred to Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center (ICRC) laboratory (central laboratory of IHHP) to assess TCh, TG, HDL, and LDL directly. Also, the LDL level was calculated by Friedewald formula, in addition.
The mean level of LDL by direct method was lower than that calculated by Friedewald formula. The mean difference between the two methods was significant, which was 6.6 ± 15.5 mg/dl difference (t = -42.925, P < 0.0001). There was strong correlation between direct and calculated LDL levels (adjusted R2 = 80.4%). Using regression model, a new formula was found for the estimation of LDL.
It is concluded that the Friedewald formula overestimates the LDL level compared to the direct method in general Iranian population. It is suggested that LDL measurement be carried out directly, especially in high-risk people. If a formula is necessary for LDL estimation, it is better to obtain an especial formula for each population.
PMCID: PMC3634287  PMID: 23626626
Direct measurement; Friedewald formula; Iiran; low density lipoprotein
4.  Smoking cessation support in Iran: Availability, sources & predictors 
Background & objectives:
Smoking cessation advice is known as an important factor in motivating smokers to quit smoking. We investigated the extent, sources and predictors of receiving unsolicited advice and seeking active advice for smoking cessation in Iran.
A cross-sectional study was performed as a part of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on 9093 adult individuals (both men and women) in 2004-2005. Demographic characteristics, smoking status, sources and preferences for smoking cessation support were recorded.
In the studied population, 66.8 and 14.4 per cent had received and asked for cessation support, respectively. Smokers had received advice from family (92.2%), friends (48.9%), physician (27.9%) and other health care providers (16.2%). Smokers had asked for cessation help more frequently from family (64.5%) and friends (42.0%). Women (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37-0.94) and singles (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.36-0.71) received less advice. Hookah smokers received (OR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.14-0.38) and asked (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.06-0.68) for cessation help less than cigarette smokers. Receiving advice increased the odds of seeking support (OR: 7.98; 95% CI: 4.37-14.57).
Interpretation & conclusions:
Smokers’ family and friends were more frequent sources for smoking cessation support. Tobacco control programmes can count on smokers’ family and friends as available sources for smoking cessation support in countries where smoking cessation counselling services are less available. However, the role of physicians and health care workers in the smoking cessation counselling needs to be strengthened.
PMCID: PMC3135990  PMID: 21727661
Cigarettes; hookah; Iran; smoking; smoking cessation
5.  White Rice Consumption and CVD Risk Factors among Iranian Population 
Association between white rice intake and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases remained uncertain. Most of the previous published studies have been done in western countries with different lifestyles, and scant data are available from the Middle East region, including Iran. This cross-sectional study was conducted in the structure of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) to assess the association between white rice consumption and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. In the present study, 3,006 men were included from three counties of Isfahan, Najafabad, and Arak by multistage cluster random-sampling method. Dietary intake was assessed with a 49-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Laboratory assessment was done in a standardized central laboratory. Outcome variables were fasting blood glucose, serum lipid levels, and anthropometric variables. Socioeconomic and demographic data, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) were considered covariates and were adjusted in analysis. In this study, Student's t-test, chi-square test, and logistic regression were used for statistical analyses. Means of BMI among those subjects who consumed white rice less than 7 times per week and people who consumed 7-14 times per week were almost similar—24.8±4.3 vs 24.5±4.7 kg/m2. There was no significant association between white rice consumption and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, such as fasting blood sugar and serum lipid profiles. Although whole grain consumption has undeniable effect on preventing cardiovascular disease risk, white rice consumption was not associated with cardiovascular risks among Iranian men in the present study. Further prospective studies with a semi-quantitative FFQ or dietary record questionnaire, representing type and portion-size of rice intake as well as cooking methods and other foods consumed with rice that affect glycaemic index (GI) of rice, are required to support our finding and to illustrate the probable mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3702347  PMID: 23930344
Cardiovascular diseases; Diet; Risk factors; White rice; Iran
6.  The relation between dietary intake of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):168-175.
The detrimental effects of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) on apolipoproteins have been reported from several parts of the world. However, little data is available in this regard from the understudied region of the Middle East. The present study therefore tried to evaluate the association between type of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels among Iranians.
In this cross-sectional study, data from 1772 people (795 men and 977 women) aged 19–81 years, who were selected with multistage cluster random sampling method from three cities of Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak in “Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” (IHHP) (Iran), was used. To assess participants' usual dietary intakes, a validated food frequency questionnaire was used. Hydrogenated vegetable oil (commonly consumed for cooking in Iran) and margarine were considered as the category of PHVOs. Soy, sunflower, corn, olive and canola oils were considered as non-HVOs. After an overnight fasting, serum cholesterol (total, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol) and triglyceride as well as apolipoproteins A and B were measured using standard methods.
Participants with the highest intakes of non-HVOs and PHVOs were younger and had lower weight than those with lowest intakes. High consumption of non-HVOs and PHVOs was associated with lower intakes of energy, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and grains. No overall significant differences were found in serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels across the quartiles of non-HVOs and PHVOs after controlling for potential confounding.
We did not find any significant associations between hydrogenated or nonhydrogenated vegetable oil and serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. Thus, further studies are needed in this region to explore this association.
PMCID: PMC3413086  PMID: 23205051
Vegetable Oils; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Lipids; Apolipoproteins; Diet
7.  Body Mass Index, Waist-circumference and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Iranian Adults: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
Considering the main effect of obesity on chronic non-communicable diseases, this study was performed to assess the association between body mass index (BMI), waist-circumference (WC), cardiometabolic risk factors and to corroborate whether either or both BMI and WC are independently associated with the risk factors in a sample of Iranian adults. This cross-sectional study was performed on data from baseline survey of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP). The study was done on 12,514 randomly-selected adults in Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak counties in 2000-2001. Ages of the subjects were recorded. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), 2-hour post-load glucose (2hpp), serum lipids, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), BMI, WC, smoking status, and total daily physical activity were determined. Increase in BMI and WC had a significant positive relation with the mean of FBG, 2hpp, SBP, DBP, serum lipids, except for HDL-C (p<0.001 for all). After adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, socioeconomic status (SES), and BMI, the highest odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) for diabetes mellitus (DM) according to WC was 3.13 (1.93-5.08) and 1.99 (1.15-3.44) in women and men respectively. Moreover, the highest ORs based on BMI with adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, SES, and WC were for dyslipidaemia (DLP) [1.97 (1.58-2.45) in women and 2.96 (2.41-3.63) in men]. The use of BMI or WC alone in the models caused to enhance all ORs. When both BMI and WC were entered in the model, the ORs for all risk factors, in men, according to BMI, were more compared to WC. However, in women, ORs for DM and hypertension (HTN) in WC quartiles were more than in BMI quartiles. BMI is the better predictor of DM, HTN, and DLP in men compared to WC. Conversely, in women, WC is a superior predictor than BMI, particularly for DM and HTN. Furthermore, the measurement of both WC and BMI in Iranian adults may be a better predictor of traditional risk factors of CVDs compared to BMI or WC alone.
PMCID: PMC3805889  PMID: 24288953
Body mass index; Diabetes mellitus; Dyslipidaemia; Hypertension; Obesity; Risk Factor; Waist-circumference; Iran
8.  Improvement of dietary oil consumption following a community trial in a developing country: The role of translational research in health promotion 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):29-37.
This study aimed to determine the effects of the interventions of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on the type of oil consumed at the population level. It also tried to assess how this strategy has been effective as a health policy.
The IHHP, a six-year community intervention program (2001-07), aimed at health promotion through the modification of cardiovascular disease risk factors. It was performed in Isfahan and Najafabad counties (intervention area) and Arak county (reference area), all in central Iran. This study targeted the whole population of over 2,000,000 in the intervention area. The findings of annual independent sample surveys were compared with the reference area. Dietary interventions were performed as educational, environmental, and/or legislative strategies.
From 2001 to 2007, the mean of changes for hydrogenated oil consumption was -3.2 and -3.6, and for liquid oil it was 3.6 and 2.8 times per week in the intervention and reference areas, respectively (P < 0.001). According to Commerce office record, the increase in liquid oil distribution during 2000-2007 was significantly higher in Isfahan than Arak (34% vs. 25%).
The effects of the simple, comprehensive, and integrated action-oriented interventions of our program could influence policy making and its results at the community level. It can be adopted by other developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3653266  PMID: 23696757
Oil Consumption; Hydrogenated Oil; Liquid Oil; Community Trial
9.  Effects of 5-Year Interventions on Cardiovascular Risk Factors of Factories and Offies Employees of Isfahan and Najafabad: Worksite Intervention Project-Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):94-101.
Effects of 5-year interventions of Worksite Intervention Project from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program on cardiovascular risk factors of factories and offices employees were studied in Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention area) compared to Arak (control area).
We had especial interventions for nutrition, physical activity and smoking as well as hypertension and obesity screening systems in all offices and factories, and other risk factors screening systems whenever possible. Before and after the interventions, questionnaires containing demographic and other required data were completed for the two populations; height, weight and blood pressure (BP) were measured and a fasting and 2h blood sample was taken for the measurement of blood sugar (BS) and lipid levels.
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, but low HDL increased in office staff (P < 0.01). Waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol mean values decreased, and diastolic BP and fasting and 2h BS increased among the intervention group. In factory workers, the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, while low HDL prevalence increased in intervention group (P < 0.001). Mean values of waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol, and triglyceride decreased significantly (P < 0.001), while diastolic BP and fasting BS increased.
It seems that Worksite Intervention Project has a protective effect on CVD risk factors in factories and offices employees. So, the modifiable project can be used as an applicable tool for health improvement in worksites which creates tangible changes in employees’ lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3347823  PMID: 22577423
Risk Factors; Cardiovascular Disease; Workplace; Intervention
10.  Socioeconomic Indicators Associated with Initiation and Cessation of Smoking among Women in Seoul 
While smoking prevalence in Korean men has been decreasing, it is increasing in Korean women. Little is known about women's smoking inequalities in Korea. This study was conducted to investigate the association of socioeconomic indicators with the initiation and cessation of smoking among Korean women.
This was a cross-sectional study on 9,089 women aged 25-64 years from the 2008 Seoul Community Health Survey. The data on smoking and socioeconomic status were obtained through face-to-face interviews. Smoking initiation rate was defined as the proportion of the individuals who had started smoking at least one cigarette among all subjects. Smoking cessation rate was calculated by dividing the number of individuals who had quit smoking by the number of ever smokers. Education level, total family income and occupation were investigated as socioeconomic indicators.
Education level was significantly associated with both initiation and cessation of smoking. Lower educated women had a higher likelihood of smoking initiation (odds ratio [OR], 1.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17 to 2.51) but lower likelihood of smoking cessation (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.66) than higher educated women. Smoking initiation rate was higher in manual workers (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.20 to 2.27) than in non-manual workers. However, there were no significant differences of both initiation and cessation of smoking according to total household income.
This study shows that there are smoking inequalities among Korean women. It is thought that education level and occupation are important determinants of women's smoking status.
PMCID: PMC3383246  PMID: 22745882
Women; Smoking; Smoking Cessation; Socioeconomic Factors
11.  Socioeconomic Disparities and Smoking Habits in Metabolic Syndrome: Evidence from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
The metabolic syndrome (Mets) consists of major clustering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. This study determines the association of socioeconomic determinants and smoking behavior in a population-based sample of Iranians with Mets.
This cross-sectional survey comprised 12600 randomly selected men and women aged ≥ 19 years living in three counties in central part of Iran. They participated in the baseline survey of a community-based program for CVD prevention entitled” Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” in 2000-2001. Subjects with Mets were selected based on NCEP- ATPIII criteria. Demographic data, medical history, lifestyle, smoking habits, physical examination, blood pressure, obesity indices and serum lipids were determined.
The mean age of subjects with Mets was significantly higher. The mean age of smokers in both groups was higher than non-smokers but with lower WC and WHR. Marital status, age and residency were not significantly different in smokers with Mets and non-smokers with Mets. Smoking was more common in the middle educational group in the income category of Quartile 1-3. Mets was significantly related to age, sex and education. Middle-aged and elderly smokers were at approximately 4-5 times higher risk among Mets subjects. Low education decreased the risk of Mets by 0.48; similarly in non-smokers, 6-12 years of education decreased the risk of Mets by 0.72.
More educated persons had a better awareness and behavior related to their health and role of smoking. In the lower social strata of the Iranian population, more efforts are needed against smoking habits.
PMCID: PMC3371999  PMID: 22737524
Socioeconomic status; Smoking; Metabolic syndrome; Iran
12.  Association of Socioeconomic Status and Life-style Factors with Coping Strategies in Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, Iran 
Croatian Medical Journal  2009;50(4):380-386.
To investigate the association between life-style and socioeconomic factors and coping strategies in a community sample in Iran.
As part of a community-based study called Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, we studied 17 593 individuals older than 19 living in the central part of Iran. Demographic and socioeconomic factors (age, sex, occupation status, marital status, and educational level) and lifestyle variables (smoking status, leisure time physical activity, and psychological distress), and coping strategy were recorded. Data were analyzed by Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression.
Not smoking (women β = -11.293, P < 0.001; men β = -3.418, P = 0.007), having leisure time physical activity (women β = 0.017, P = 0.046; men β = 0.005, P = 0.043), and higher educational level (women β = 0.344, P = 0.015; men β = 0.406, P = 0.008) were predictors of adaptive coping strategies, while smoking (women β = 11.849, P < 0.001; men β = 9.336, P < 0.001), high stress level (women β = 1.588, P = 0.000; men β = 1.358, P < 0.001), and lower educational level (women β = -0.443, P = 0.013; men β = -0.427, P = 0.013) were predictors of maladaptive coping strategies in both sexes. Non-manual work was a positive predictor of adaptive (β = 4.983, P < 0.001) and negative predictor of maladaptive (β = -3.355, P = 0.023) coping skills in men.
Coping strategies of the population in central Iran were highly influenced by socioeconomic status and life-style factors. Programs aimed at improving healthy life-styles and increasing the socioeconomic status could increase adaptive coping skills and decrease maladaptive ones and consequently lead to a more healthy society.
PMCID: PMC2728387  PMID: 19673038
13.  Smoker, ex-smoker or non-smoker? The validity of routinely recorded smoking status in UK primary care: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(4):e004958.
To investigate how smoking status is recorded in UK primary care; to evaluate whether appropriate multiple imputation (MI) of smoking status yields results consistent with health surveys.
UK primary care and a population survey conducted in the community.
We identified 354 204 patients aged 16 or over in The Health Improvement Network (THIN) primary care database registered with their general practice 2008–2009 and 15 102 individuals aged 16 or over in the Health Survey for England (HSE).
Outcome measures
Age-standardised and age-specific proportions of smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers in THIN and the HSE before and after MI. Using information on time since quitting in the HSE, we estimated when ex-smokers are typically recorded as non-smokers in primary care records.
In THIN, smoking status was recorded for 84% of patients within 1 year of registration. Of these, 28% were smokers (21% in the HSE). After MI of missing smoking data, the proportion of smokers was 25% (missing at random) and 20% (missing not at random). With increasing age, more were identified as ex-smokers in the HSE than THIN. It appears that those who quit before age 30 were less likely to be recorded as an ex-smoker in primary care than people who quit later.
Smoking status was relatively well recorded in primary care. Misclassification of ex-smokers as non-smokers is likely to occur in those quitting smoking at an early age and/or a long time ago. Those with no smoking status information are more likely to be ex-smokers or non-smokers than smokers.
PMCID: PMC4010810  PMID: 24760355
14.  The impact of obesity on hypertension and diabetes control following healthy Lifestyle Intervention Program in a developing country setting 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of obesity and overweight on diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) control in a healthy lifestyle intervention program in Iran.
Within the framework of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a community trial that was conducted to prevent and control cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, two intervention counties (Isfahan and Najafabad) and one reference county (Arak) were selected. Demographic information, medical history, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive medications use were asked by trained interviewers in addition to physical examination and laboratory tests for 12514 adults aged more than 19 years in 2001 and were repeated for 9572 adults in 2007.
In women, the frequency of HTN control change significantly neither in normal weight nor in those with high body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) or waist to hip ratio (WHR). In men, the frequency of HTN control was only significant among those with high WHR, whereas the interaction between changes in intervention compared to reference area from 2001 to 2007 was significant in men with normal or high WC or WHR. In intervention area, the number of women with high BMI who controlled their DM increased significantly from 2001 to 2007 (p = 0.008), however, this figure decreased in men. In reference area, obesity indices had no significant association with DM control. The percentage of diabetic subjects with high WC who controlled their DM decreased non-significantly in intervention area compared to reference area in 2007. A non-significant increase in controlled DM among men and women with high WHR was observed between intervention and reference areas.
Our lifestyle interventions did not show any improving effect on HTN or DM control among obese subjects based on different obesity indices. Other lifestyle intervention strategies are suggested.
PMCID: PMC3252770  PMID: 22247721
Hypertension; Diabetes; Obesity; Control; Prevention; Iran
15.  Tobacco Smoking, Quitting, and Relapsing Among Adult Males in Mainland China: The China Seven Cities Study 
Nicotine & Tobacco Research  2012;15(1):223-230.
Despite an estimated 1 million tobacco-related deaths annually in China, public health officials face overwhelming barriers to implementing effective tobacco control policies and programs. Models of effective tobacco control can be adapted for Chinese tobacco use and culture based on reliable and valid data regarding predictors of smoking and abstaining.
As part of the China Seven Cities Study to assess the role of rapid social, economic, and cultural change on tobacco use and related health practices and outcomes, 4,072 adult male smokers provided data in 3 annual waves. Measures included current smoking, nicotine dependence, readiness for quitting, perceived stress, hostility, depressive symptoms, as well as covariates (e.g., age, marital status, educational attainment, and family income).
Odds of being abstinent at Wave 3 were increased by: lower nicotine dependence at Wave 1 and becoming less dependent between Waves 1 and 3; progressing beyond the contemplation stage between Waves 1 and 3; perceiving less stress, whether initially at Wave 1 or over time from Wave 1 to Wave 3; and lower hostility scores at Wave 1 and decreased hostility from Wave 1 to Wave 3. Among those who quit, odds of remaining abstinent rather than relapsing by Wave 3 were higher among those who were less dependent at Wave 1 and who became less dependent from Wave 1 to Wave 3; and those who showed decreases in hostility from Wave 1 to Wave 3.
The public health challenge posed by very high prevalence of male smoking in China can be met by policies and programs that lead to successful long-term cessation. This can only be done successfully by designing interventions based on knowledge of the country’s smokers and the current study suggests several elements.
PMCID: PMC3611989  PMID: 22581939
16.  Social norms of cigarette and hookah smokers in Iranian universities 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):45-50.
First experiences of tobacco use usually occur in adolescence. The recognition of social norms leading to youth smoking is hence necessary. We tried to assess the social norms among Iranian young cigarette and hookah smokers.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 451 girls and 361 boys aging 20-25 years old who entered Isfahan and Kashan Universities (Iran) in 2007. Demographic factors (age, gender, and age at smoking onset) cigarette and hookah smoking status, having a smoking father or smoking friends and four related social norms were recorded. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to separately determine associations between hookah and cigarette smoking and the four social norm variables.
Cigarette and hookah smokers had significant differences with nonsmokers in two social norms: “Perceived smoking by important characters” [odds ratio (OR) = 1.35 in cigarette smokers and 1.58 in hookah smokers; P < 0.001] and “smoking makes gatherings friendly” (OR = 3.62 in cigarette smokers and 6.16 in hookah smokers; P < 0.001). Furthermore, cigarette and hookah smoking were significantly associated with having smoking friends.
Highlighting the social norms leading to cigarette and hookah smoking may help policy makers develop comprehensive interventions to prevent smoking among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3653255  PMID: 23696759
Cigarette; Hookah; Smoking; Social Norm
17.  Work stress, life stress, and smoking among rural–urban migrant workers in China 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:979.
Stimulated by rapid modernization and industrialization, there is massive rural–urban migration in China. The migrants are highly susceptible to smoking and mental health problems. This study examined the association between both perceived work stress and perceived life stress with smoking behavior among this group during the period of migration.
Participants (n = 1,595) were identified through stratified, multi-stage, systematic sampling. Smoking status separated non-smokers from daily and occasional smokers, and migration history, work stress, and life stress were also measured. Analyses were conducted using the Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression. Two models were utilized. The first was the full model that comprised sociodemographic and migration-related characteristics, as well as the two stress variables. In addressing potential overlap between life and work stress, the second model eliminated one of the two stress variables as appropriate.
Overall smoking prevalence was 64.9% (95% CI: 62.4-67.2%). In the regression analysis, under the full model, migrants with high perceived life stress showed a 45% excess likelihood to be current smokers relative to low-stress counterparts (OR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.05 – 2.06). Applying the second model, which excluded the life stress variable, migrants with high perceived work stress had a 75% excess likelihood to be current smokers relative to opposites (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.26–2.45).
Rural–urban migrant workers manifested a high prevalence of both life stress and work stress. While both forms of stress showed associations with current smoking, life stress appeared to outweigh the impact of work stress. Our findings could inform the design of tobacco control programs that would target Chinese rural–urban migrant workers as a special population.
PMCID: PMC3584974  PMID: 23151299
Smoking; Work stress; Life stress; Rural–urban migrant workers
18.  Support for smoke-free policies among smokers and non-smokers in six cities in China: ITC China Survey 
Tobacco Control  2009;19(Suppl_2):i40-i46.
To examine levels of support for comprehensive smoke-free policies in six large Chinese cities.
Data from Wave 1 of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey (April–August 2006) were analysed. The ITC China Survey employed a multistage sampling design in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Changsha, Guangzhou and Yinchuan (none of which has comprehensive smoke-free policies in place). Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 4815 smokers and 1270 non-smokers. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with support for comprehensive smoke-free policies.
About one in two Chinese urban smokers and four in five non-smokers believed that secondhand smoke (SHS) causes lung cancer. The majority of respondents supported comprehensive smoke-free policies in hospitals, schools and public transport vehicles while support for smoke-free workplaces, restaurants and bars was lower. Levels of support were generally comparable between smokers and non-smokers. Support for comprehensive smoke-free policies was positively associated with knowledge about the harm of SHS. Respondents who worked in a smoke-free worksite or who frequented smoke-free indoor entertainment places were more likely to support comprehensive smoking restriction in bars and restaurants.
Considerable support for smoke-free policies exists in these six large cities in China. Greater public education about the dangers of SHS may further increase support. Experiencing the benefits of smoke-free indoor entertainment places and/or workplaces increases support for these policies and suggests that some initial smoke-free policy implementation may hasten the diffusion of these public health policies.
PMCID: PMC2976027  PMID: 19679889
19.  The Impact of Job Stress on Smoking and Quitting: Evidence from the HRS 
Job-related stress might affect smoking behavior because smoking may relieve stress and stress can make individuals more present-focused. Alternatively, individuals may both self-select into stressful jobs and choose to smoke based on unobserved factors. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine how job stress affects the probability that smokers quit and the number of cigarettes smoked for current smokers. To address the potential endogeneity of job stress based on time invariant factors, we include individual fixed effects, which control for factors such as ability to handle stress. Occupational fixed effects are also included to control for occupational characteristics other than stress; time dummies control for the secular decline in smoking rates. Using a sample of people who smoked in the previous wave, we find that job stress is positively related to continuing to smoke among recent smokers. The results indicate that the key impact of stress is on the extensive margin of smoking, as opposed to the number of cigarettes smoked.
PMCID: PMC3103224  PMID: 21625286
smoking; stress; occupation; aging
20.  Alteration in unhealthy nutrition behaviors in adolescents through community intervention: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):89-97.
Primary prevention of chronic diseases has been suggested to initiate health promotion activities from childhoods. The impact of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a comprehensive community trial, on unhealthy snacks and fast food intake changes was evaluated in Iranian adolescents between 2001 and 2007.
Healthy Heart Promotion from Childhood (HHPC) as one of the IHHP interventional projects was conducted in adolescents aged 11-18 years, selected randomly by multistage random sampling. Isfahan and Najafabad districts were intervention areas (IA) and Arak district was reference area (RA). The baseline and post-intervention surveys were conducted on 1941 and 1997 adolescents, respectively. Healthy lifestyle interventions were performed during the 2nd phase of the study targeting about 410000 students in urban and rural areas of the IA via education, environmental and legislation activities. Dietary intake was assessed annually using a fifty-item food frequency questionnaire in both communities.
The interaction of year×area demonstrated that the consumption of unhealthy snacks decreased significantly in middle school boys of RA compared to IA (P for interaction=0.01). However, middle school girls (P for interaction = 0.002) and both sexes of high school students in IA showed a significant reduction in fast food consumption against RA (P for interaction < 0.001).
The HHPC interventions made some improvement in fast food consumption. It did not show significant decrease regarding unhealthy snacks in adolescents. Proper and higher dose of interventions may be effective in achieving this goal.
PMCID: PMC3653262  PMID: 23696765
Nutrition; Dietary Behaviour; Adolescent; Lifestyle; Community Trial
21.  Interest in an Online Smoking Cessation Program and Effective Recruitment Strategies: Results From Project Quit 
The Internet is a promising venue for delivering smoking cessation treatment, either as a stand-alone program or as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy. However, there is little data to indicate what percent of smokers are interested in receiving online smoking cessation services or how best to recruit smokers to Internet-based programs.
Using a defined recruitment sample, this study aimed to identify the percentage of smokers who expressed interest in or enrolled in Project Quit, a tailored, online, cognitive-behavioral support program offered with adjunctive nicotine replacement therapy patches. In addition, we examined the effectiveness of several individual-level versus population-level recruitment strategies.
Members from two large health care organizations in the United States were invited to participate in Project Quit. Recruitment efforts included proactive invitation letters mailed to 34533 likely smokers and reactive population-level study advertisements targeted to all health plan members (> 560000 adults, including an estimated 98000 smokers across both health care organizations).
An estimated 1.6% and 2.5% of adult smokers from each health care organization enrolled in Project Quit. Among likely smokers who received proactive study invitations, 7% visited the Project Quit website (n = 2260) and 4% (n = 1273) were eligible and enrolled. Response rates were similar across sites, despite using different sources to assemble the invitation mailing list. Proactive individual-level recruitment was more effective than other forms of recruitment, accounting for 69% of website visitors and 68% of enrollees.
Smokers were interested in receiving online smoking cessation support, even though they had access to other forms of treatment through their health insurance. Uptake rates for this program were comparable to those seen when smokers are advised to quit and are referred to other forms of smoking cessation treatment. In this sample, proactive mailings were the best method for recruiting smokers to Project Quit.
PMCID: PMC2018826  PMID: 16954124
Internet; tobacco dependence; nicotine dependence; smoking cessation; recruitment activities
22.  Dental patient's knowledge and perceptions about the effects of smoking and role of dentists in smoking cessation activities 
European Journal of Dentistry  2014;8(2):216-223.
The objective of the following study is to assess the knowledge of patients about the consequences of smoking on the general and oral health, to analyze the patient's perceptions about the role of dentists in smoking prevention, counseling and cessation and to analyze the willingness of smokers to quit smoking following dentist's advice.
Materials and Methods:
A descriptive study was conducted in a sample of 486 dental patients visiting Vokkaligara Sangha Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluruin the month of August 2011 using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test was performed to analyze data.
The patients had good knowledge about the effects of smoking on general and oral health. Statistically significant difference was observed in the knowledge of smokers and non-smokers about the effects of smoking on ageing (P = 0.008) and oral cancer (P = 0.0012). Patients had a positive perception about the role of dentists in smoking cessation activities. Smokers exhibited a willingness to quit if suggested by the dentist.
Patients perceive that dentists can play an important part in smoking cessation activities. Hence, dentists should not hesitate to give smoking cessation advice to their patients and grasp this opportunity to improve the general and oral health of the community.
PMCID: PMC4054053  PMID: 24966773
Knowledge; perceptions; prevention; smoking; smoking cessation
23.  Smoking patterns and predictors of smoking cessation in elderly populations in Lebanon 
To investigate smoking patterns in an elderly, low-income population and to identify predictors of smoking cessation, in addition to analyzing the importance of smoking in relation to other risk factors for hospitalization.
The data were part of an urban health study conducted among 740 individuals aged ≥60 years in three suburban communities of low socio-economic status in Beirut, one of them a refugee camp. A detailed interview schedule was administered that included comprehensive social and health information.
The overall prevalence of current smokers was 28.1%. Almost half of the group were ever smokers, of whom 44% had quit smoking when they experienced negative health effects. Having at least one chronic illness and having a functional disability significantly increased the odds of smoking cessation. In addition, being a former smoker increased the likelihood of hospital admission.
This study is of particular importance, as it has implications for similar low-income and refugee communities in the region and elsewhere. There is a need for more concerted efforts by public health officials to target elderly individuals as a group for smoking cessation interventions, particularly now that mortality and health benefits have been well documented.
Investiguer les types de tabagisme dans une population âgée à faibles revenus et identifier les facteurs prédictifs de l’arrêt du tabagisme, tout en analysant l’importance du tabagisme par rapport aux autres facteurs de risque d’hospitalisation.
Les données constituent une fraction de l’étude de santé urbaine menée chez 740 personnes âgées de ≥60 ans à Beyrouth dans trois collectivités suburbaines à faible statut socio-économique dont une des trois se situe dans un camp de réfugiés. Un schéma détaillé d’interview a été utilisé comportant des informations complètes sur le plan social et celui de la santé.
La prévalence globale des fumeurs actuels est de 28,1%. Près de la moitié des personnes âgées ont fumé à un moment quelconque dans leur vie et parmi celles-ci, 44% ont cessé de fumer. Les personnes âgées ont cessé de fumer lorsqu’elles en ont perçu les effets négatifs sur la santé. Le fait d’avoir au moins une maladie chronique et de souffrir d’une incapacité fonctionnelle ont augmenté d’une façon significative les chances d’arrêt du tabagisme. De plus, le fait d’être un ancien fumeur a augmenté le risque d’admission hospitalière.
Cette étude est d’une importance particulière car ses implications s’élargissent à des collectivités à faibles revenus similaires et chez les réfugiés dans la région ainsi qu’ailleurs. Il est nécessaire que les responsables de la santé publique fassent un effort plus concerté pour cibler les personnes âgées comme groupe en vue d’interventions d’arrêt du tabagisme, d’autant plus que les avantages en matière de mortalité et de santé ont aujourd’hui été bien documentés.
Investigar los tipos de hábito tabáquico en una población de personas ancianas, de bajos ingresos y determinar los factores pronósticos del abandono del hábito. Asimismo, se analizó la importancia del tabaquismo en relación con otros factores de riesgo de hospitalización.
Los datos formaban parte de un estudio de salud urbana de 740 personas de ≥60 años de edad, en tres comunidades suburbanas de bajo estrato socioeconómico en Beirut, una de las cuales era un campo de refugiados. Se administró una entrevista estructurada que aportaba amplia información social y sanitaria.
La prevalencia global de fumadores fue de 28,1%. Casi la mitad de las personas ancianas había sido fumadora en algún momento y 44% habían abandonado el tabaquismo. Estas personas abandonaron el hábito tabáquico cuando tuvieron repercusiones negativas sobre su salud. La presencia de por lo menos una enfermedad crónica y de discapacidad funcional aumentó en forma significativa las probabilidades de abandono del tabaquismo. Además, el antecedente de tabaquismo aumentó el riesgo de hospitalización.
El presente estudio reviste una importancia particular, pues sus implicaciones son amplias para comunidades similares de escasos ingresos y de refugiados en esta y otras regiones. Pone en evidencia la necesidad de iniciativas más coordinadas por parte de los funcionarios de salud pública, destinadas a enfocar las campañas de abandono del tabaquismo en la población de edad mayor ; aún más hoy, cuando se ha demostrado la utilidad del abandono en términos de disminución de la mortalidad y consecuencias positivas para la salud.
PMCID: PMC1540450  PMID: 16898378
smoking cessation; elderly; health
24.  How does the impact of a community trial on cardio-metabolic risk factors differ in terms of gender and living area? Findings from the Isfahan healthy heart program 
To assess the impact of gender and living area on cardiovascular risk factors in the context of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention program.
Data from independent sample surveys before (2000--2001) and after (2007) a community trial, entitled the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) were used to compare differences in the intervention area (IA) and reference area (RA) by gender and living area.
The interventions targeted the population living in Isfahan and Najaf-Abad counties as IA and Arak as RA.
Overall, 12 514 individuals who were more than 19 years of age were studied at baseline, and 9570 were studied in postintervention phase.
Multiple activities were conducted in connection with each of the four main strategies of healthy nutrition, increasing physical activity, tobacco control, and coping with stress.
Main Outcomes:
Comparing serum lipids levels, blood pressure, blood glucose and obesity indices changes between IA and RA based on sex and living areas during the study.
In IA, while the prevalence of hypertension declined in urban and rural females (P < 0.05). In IA, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia decreased in both females and males of urban and rural areas except for hypercholesterolemia in rural males (P < 0.01). In RA, the significant changes include both decrease in the hypercholesterolemia among rural males (P < 0.001) and hypertriglyceridemia in urban females (P < 0.01), while hypertriglyceridemia was significantly increased in rural females (P < 0.01).
This comprehensive community trial was effective in controlling many risk factors in both sexes in urban and rural areas. These findings also reflect the transitional status of rural population in adopting urban lifestyle behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3687879  PMID: 23798939
Age; cardiovascular risk factor; community health program; health promotion; rural; sex; urban
25.  Characteristics of smokers who have never tried to quit: evidence from the British Opinions and Lifestyle Survey 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:346.
An understanding of the characteristics of smokers who have never tried to quit may be useful to help identify and target these individuals and encourage them to attempt to give up smoking. Using national survey data we investigated variables associated with smokers reporting never having tried to quit.
Using data from the 2007 and 2009 UK Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey we identified all self-reported current smokers aged 16+. The primary outcome was response to the question ‘have you ever tried to quit smoking?’ Univariable and multivariable logistic regression quantified the association between this outcome and several potential explanatory variables, including age, sex, socioeconomic status, health status, smoking behaviour, and knowledge of the dangers of smoking.
Desire to quit was the most significant independent predictor of whether a smoker reported never having tried to quit. Smokers who reported that their health was good or very good were more likely to report never having tried to quit than those whose health was fair, bad or very bad (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.05-2.41). Smokers who reported that no family members, friends or colleagues had been trying to get them to quit smoking in the last year were more likely to report never having tried to quit than those who reported that someone was trying to persuade them (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.09-2.28). Smokers who hadn’t received any cessation advice from a health professional in the last five years which they considered to be helpful were also more likely to report never having tried to quit.
Smokers who do not want to quit, who are in good health, whose friends and family are not trying to get them to quit, and who do not report receiving helpful advice to quit from a health professional, are more likely to report never having tried to quit.
PMCID: PMC4008410  PMID: 24721488

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