Is the Glasgow effect of cigarette smoking explained by socio-economic status: A multilevel analysisReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 9:245

First Online: 17 July 2009Received: 30 October 2008Accepted: 17 July 2009DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-9-245

Cite this article as: Gray, L. & Leyland, A.H. BMC Public Health 2009 9: 245. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-245


BackgroundThe Glasgow area has elevated levels of deprivation and is known for its poor health and associated negative health-related behaviours, which are socially patterned. Of interest is whether high smoking rates are explained by the area-s socio-economic profile.

MethodsData on age, sex, current-previous smoking status, area deprivation, social class, education, economic activity, postcode sector, and health board region were available from Scottish Health Surveys conducted in 1995, 1998 and 2003. Multilevel logistic regression models were applied by sex, unadjusted and adjusted for age, survey year, and socio-economic factors, accounting for geographical hierarchy and missing data.

ResultsCompared with the rest of Scotland, men living in Greater Glasgow were 30% and women 43% more likely to smoke odds ratio OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.08–1.56 and OR = 1.43, CI = 1.22–1.68, respectively before adjustment. In adjusted results, the association between living in Greater Glasgow and current smoking was attenuated OR = 0.92, CI = 0.78–1.09 for men, and OR = 1.08, CI = 0.94–1.23 for women; results based on multiply imputed data to account for missing values remained borderline significant for women. Accounting for individuals who had been told to give up smoking by a medical person-excluding ex-smokers did not alter results.

ConclusionHigh levels of smoking in Greater Glasgow were attributable to its poorer socio-economic position and the strong social patterning of smoking. Tackling Glasgow-s, and indeed Scotland-s, poor health must involve policies to alleviate problems associated with poverty.

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Author: Linsay Gray - Alastair H Leyland


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