Prevalence of smoking and drinking among older adults in seven urban cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Subst Use Misuse. 2007;42(9):1455-75. doi: 10.1080/10826080701212501.


In 2000, a representative sample of the elderly population (60 years or older) was selected from seven urban cities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Mexico City (Mexico), Santiago (Chile), Havana (Cuba), Montevideo (Uruguay), Bridgetown (Barbados), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). A face-to-face interview was uniformly administered in the respective official languages. A total of 10,577 older adults were included in this study. The elderly in Havana had the highest prevalence of smoking (46.5% of men and 21.5% women). The highest prevalence of daily drinking was in Buenos Aires (19%). In contrast, only 1.5% of respondents in Mexico City and 2.3% of respondents in Havana consumed alcohol daily. Smoking and daily drinking were highly prevalent among older adults. As the older adult population grows steeply, the health behavior of this population starts carrying important implications for health care systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Latin America
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Urban Population
  • West Indies