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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


AMIGO, Hugo et al. Pattern of smoking and socioeconomic status in two cohorts of young adults. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.2, pp.168-174. ISSN 0034-9887.


One in five deaths that occur in Chile can be attributed to smoking whose prevalence remains high, despite interventions aimed at reducing it.


To compare the prevalence of smoking and its intensity among young adults born 15 years apart and determine their association with socioeconomic status (SES).

Material and Methods:

Two cohorts of young adults living in the Valparaiso Region of Chile were evaluated in the third decade of life. Cohort 1 was evaluated between 2000 and 2002 (n = 1232) and cohort 2 between 2014 and 2017 (n = 1078).


In cohort 1, 57.5% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 54.6-58.7) of the subjects reported smoking, with a median of 3 (Interquartile range (ICR:1-6) cigarettes/day. This percentage fell to 40.2% (CI: 37.5-43.1) with a similar median in cohort 2. Analyzing cohort 2, the odds ratio (OR) for smoking was 2.24 (CI 1.48-3.38) in the medium SES, compared with the medium high SES. The figures for low medium and low SES were 2.72 (CI: 1.85-3.99) and 3.01 (1.85-4.88). Similarly, in this cohort there was a significantly higher risk of being a heavy smoker in lower SES. No associations between smoking or its intensity and SES were observed in cohort 1.


Smoking behavior has decreased among young adults evaluated at the same age in two generational cohorts in the third decade of life. In the most recent cohort analyzed, smoking and its intensity increase along with a decrease in SES.

Keywords : Cohort Studies; Smoking; Young adult.

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