Education associations with smoking and leisure-time physical inactivity among Hispanic and Asian young adults

Am J Public Health. 2011 Mar;101(3):504-11. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.191890. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Objectives: We assessed whether associations between education and 2 health behaviors--smoking and leisure-time physical inactivity (LTPI)--depended on nativity and age at immigration among Hispanic and Asian young adults.

Methods: Data came from the 2000-2008 National Health Interview Survey. The sample included 13 345 Hispanics and 2528 Asians aged 18 to 30 years. Variables for smoking and LTPI were based on self-reported data. We used logistic regression to examine education differentials in these behaviors by nativity and age at immigration.

Results: The association of education with both smoking and LTPI was weaker for foreign-born Hispanics than for US-born Hispanics but did not vary by nativity for Asians. Education associations for smoking and LTPI among foreign-born Hispanics who had immigrated at an early age more closely resembled those of US-born Hispanics than did education associations among foreign-born Hispanics who had immigrated at an older age. A similar pattern for smoking was evident among Asians.

Conclusions: Health-promotion efforts aimed at reducing disparities in key health behaviors among Hispanic and Asian young adults should take into account country of residence in childhood and adolescence as well as nativity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology