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Effects of living alone versus with others and of housemate type on smoking, drinking, dietary habits, and physical activity among elderly people
Seungmin Jeong, Sung il Cho
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017034.   Published online August 6, 2017
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  • 246 Download
  • 18 Web of Science
  • 20 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
This study examined differences in health behaviors between elderly people living alone and with others; it also investigated whether the effect of living with others differs according to housemate type, namely a spouse and/or younger generations.
Gender-stratified data from the 2013 Korea Community Health Survey for individuals aged 60 to 74 living in Seoul were analyzed. Logistic regression modeling was conducted to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the outcome variables (smoking, drinking, eating salty foods, inactive lifestyle) for the variables of interest (living alone/with others, housemate type). Models were adjusted for confounding variables including history of medical conditions, employment type, and adjusted household income.
Analysis involved 1,814 men and 2,199 women. Risk of smoking was 1.80 times (95% CI, 1.21 to 2.67) higher for men living alone than living with others. Risk of eating salty foods was 0.78 times lower (95% CI, 0.62 to 0.98) for men living with a spouse than a spouse and younger generations. Risk of inactive lifestyle was 1.47 times higher (95% CI, 1.13 to 1.92) for women living alone. Risk of smoking was higher for women living alone (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.92) or with younger generations (OR, 9.12; 95% CI, 2.04 to 40.80) than with a spouse and younger generations.
Living alone was associated with smoking in men and physical activity in women; housemate type was associated with dietary habits in men and smoking in women. These gender-specific findings can help identify groups of individuals vulnerable to risky health behaviors and to develop policies.
Korean summary
서울시의 60-74세 노인 남성 1,814명, 여성 2,199명을 대상으로, 노인의 독거 여부와 동거인의 유형이 흡연, 음주, 짜게 먹는 습관, 신체 활동 등 건강 행태에 미치는지 분석한 결과, 독거가 남성의 흡연 및 여성의 신체활동과 연관이 있는 것으로 나타났으며, 동거인의 유형이 남성의 짜게 먹는 습관 및 여성의 흡연과 연관이 있는 것으로 나타났다. 이 결과를 바탕으로 성특이적으로 나타난 노인의 건강 행태를 개선하기 위해 적극적으로 생활 행태를 교정할 수 있도록 영향을 주려는 정책을 만들어야 할 것이다.


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  • Associations between Living Alone and Smoking and Alcohol Consumption in Korean Adults
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  • Relationship between living alone and common mental disorders in the 1993, 2000 and 2007 National Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys
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A study on the health status of the inhabitants exposed to cementdust.
Hae Kwan Cheong, Joung Soon Kim, Byung Soon Choi, Chung Bum Kim, Sung Il Cho, Yun Mi Song, Hyun Sul Lim
Korean J Epidemiol. 1992;14(1):59-69.
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  • 17 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
A health impact of environmental cement dust exposure among inhabitants around a cement factory was carried out with special emphasis on finding bronchial asthma cases in this area. Questionnaire survey and physical examination were done on 437 persons in two villages located within 1km distance from the cement factory. On the basis of questionnaire survey and physical examination, 56 persons with suspicion of bronchial asthma were screened, who were further examined to establish diagnosis by physical examination, pulmonary function test and bronchodilator test.
are as follows : 1. Inhabitants in surveyed area had high prevalence of acute and chronic diseases, particularly respiratory diseases and dermatologic diseases. 2. Respiratory symptoms complained were sputum(23.9%), cough(23.0%), dyspnea(19.1%), chest tightness(14.6%), and wheezy breath sound(13.1%). On physical examination, pterygium(29.5%), decreased breath sound(3.0%), wheezing(3.3%), and rales(2.7%) were found. 3. On diagnostic examination, 32 cases (prevalence rate 7.3%) of bronchial asthma and 10 current cases (prevalence rate 2.3%) of bronchial asthma were confirmed. Thus it is postulated that high prevalence of bronchial asthma and respiratory diseases in this area may be related to environmental exposure to the cement dust. Further study, however, such as bronchial provocation test may be necessary to establish definite conclusion on causal relationship between bronchial asthma and environmental cement dust exposure.
A study on the effect of noise exposure to the health of a population
Sung Il Cho, Joung Soon Kim, Hyun Sul Lim, Hae Kwan Cheong, Byung Soon Choi
Korean J Epidemiol. 1990;12(2):153-164.
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  • 55 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
For the purpose of evaluating the effect of noise exposure to the health of a population in a village near an air force shooting practice site, a cross-sectional study was conducted from April 1 to April 23 in 1989, on the inhabitants of the village as exposed group and on the population of another provincial village as nonexposed group, which was similar to the exposed in socioeconomic status but had not been exposed to the environmental noise. Subjective symptoms, pulse rate, blood pressure, and pure tone thresholds were compared in the exposed group and the nonexposed group. 150 and 93 subjectes studied were analyzed in each group. The results were as follows : 1) There was a significant difference between the two groups in the frequency of subjective symptoms including otalgia, hearing loss, tinnitus, ear fullness, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, and anxiety. 2) There was no significant difference between the two groups in average pulse rate, while significant differences were seen in average systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressures, which were 138± 23.2mmHg and 84.5±14.4mmHg in the exposed group and 126.8±19.3mmHg and 73.8±11.3mmHg in the nonexposed group. The prevalence of hypertension by WHO criteria was 24.0% in the exposed group and 8.6% in the nonexposed group, of which difference was statistically significant. 3) There was no significant difference between the two groups in average hearing loss value, while the prevalence of hearing impairment in the exposed and the nonexposed group was 24.0% and 13.4% each according to the criteria of 500, 1000, 2000Hzx pure tone average greater than 26dB, showing a significant difference between the two groups. 4) As the duration of residence increased the hearing loss value increased in the exposed group, but age-corrected percentage hearing loss did not show any increase ; further study may be necessary to determine whether the significantly high prevalence of hearing loss in the exposed group was due to the environmental noise exposure.
The Association between Bone Density at Os calcis and Body Composition according to Years since Menopause in Postmenopausal Women Aged 45-84 Years Living in a Rural Area.
Eun Kyung Shin, Ki Suk Kim, Hee Young Kim, Kyung Eui Hong, Hyo Jee Joung, Sung Il Cho
Korean J Epidemiol. 2003;25(2):108-118.
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  • 13 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
This cross-sectional study aimed to compare early postmenopausal women with late menopausal women in respect to body composition as a major determinant of calcaneal bone density.
Areal bone density was measured at os calcis with peripheral dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Soft lean mass and fat mass were measured using bioelectric impedance in 109 postmenopausal women aged 45 to 84 years.
When age and height were adjusted, the variance of calcaneal bone density was better explained by fat mass (15%) than by soft lean mass (7%) in early postmenopausal women. In contrast, soft lean mass (17%) explained the variance of calcaneal bone density better than fat mass (11%) in late postmenopausal women. However, interaction terms between years since menopause (YSM) and soft lean mass or fat mass were not statistically significant in multiple linear regression model for total postmenopausal subject.
The findings of this study suggest that fat mass is the major determinant of calcaneal bone density in early postmenopausal women, whereas fat free mass is more important determinant of calcaneal bone density in late postmenopausal women.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health