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Income differences in smoking prevalences in 245 districts of South Korea: Patterns by area deprivation and urbanity, 2008-2014
Ikhan Kim1 , Jinwook Bahk2 , Tae-Ho Yoon3, Young Ho Khang1,2
1Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Institue of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Preventive and Occupational Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea
Corresponding Author: Young Ho Khang ,Tel: 02-740-8361, Fax: 02-740-2009, Email: yhkhang@snu.ac.kr
Received: July 7, 2016;  Accepted: February 9, 2017.
The aim of this study was to measure income differences in smoking prevalence at district level and to investigate correlations among area deprivation, smoking prevalence and income differences in smoking, stratified by urbanity.
Data were pooled from the Community Health Survey data of South Korea between 2008 and 2014. The age-standardized prevalence of current smoking and its interquintile income differences were calculated. We conducted correlation analyses to investigate association of deprivation index with smoking prevalence and interquintile differences in smoking prevalence according to urbanity.
Across 245 districts, the median prevalence of smoking in men was 45.9% (95% CI 43.4%-48.5%), with interquartile range (IQR) being 4.6%p. In women, median prevalence was 3.0% (95% CI 2.4%-3.6%) and IQR was 1.6%p. The median interquintile difference in smoking prevalence was 7.4%p (95% CI 1.6%p-13.2%p) in men and 2.7%p (95% CI 0.5%p-4.9%p) in women. The correlation coefficients for the association between deprivation index and smoking prevalence was 0.58, 0.15, -0.22 in metropolitan, urban and rural areas among men, and 0.54, -0.33, -0.43 among women. No meaningful correlation was found between area deprivation and interquintile difference in smoking prevalence. The correlation between smoking prevalence and interquintile differences in smoking prevalence was more evident in women.
This study provides evidence of geographical variations in smoking prevalence and interquintile difference in smoking prevalence. Neither smoking prevalence nor deprivation index was closely correlated with interquintile income differences in smoking prevalence. Measuring inequalities in smoking prevalence is crucial to develop policies aimed at reducing inequalities in smoking.
Key words: Geography; Income; Korea; Smoking; Socioeconomic Factors
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