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Cigarette smoking, alcohol intake and health status of older persons in England: the mediating effects of sociodemographic and economic factors

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Ageing International
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)380–392
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study was conducted to determine whether there is an association between cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and self-reported health status among older persons and how sociodemographic and socio-economic factors mediate the association between these lifestyle behaviours and health in old age. Data from wave 7 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) were analysed using bivariate and logistic regression method. Self-reported health status was assessed as a binary variable; cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption as independent variables; and age, sex, marital status, education, employment as well as financial status were assessed as covariates. Smoking had a significant inverse association with reported health status and the odds of reporting good health status versus bad health status was 59% and 38% times less for former and current smokers respectively compared with those that never smoked. However, mild alcohol consumption seemed to have a significant positive association with health status, while a negative association existed between heavy alcohol consumption and health. Sociodemographic and economic factors did not appear to mediate the effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on health status. This study provided evidence that it is important to consider interventions on smoking and heavy alcohol drinking behaviours on good health status of older adults.

Bibliographic note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12126-020-09395-6