Associations of individuals' health-related behavior with their own or their spouses' smoking status

J Epidemiol. 1998 Mar;8(1):42-6. doi: 10.2188/jea.8.42.


Background: Many studies indicated that smokers have poor health habits such as high alcohol consumption and imbalanced nutrient intakes. These habits could affect the health-related behavior of smokers' families.

Methods: To investigate the relationship between an individual's health-related behavior (nutrient intakes and participation in cancer screening) and their spouses' smoking status, we analyzed data collected using a self-administered questionnaire during a cohort study. We compared nutrient intakes and cancer screening participation rates between subjects grouped according to their spouses' smoking status, using a multivariate linear regression model to adjust for each subject's age and alcohol consumption.

Results: There was an association between husbands' and wives' smoking status (never and current only). Poor micronutrient intakes and cancer screening participation rates were associated with both the subjects' and their spouses' smoking habits. This tendency was most apparent among male smokers and nonsmoking women. However, among nonsmoking men and female smokers, there were no statistically significant differences between groups classified according to their spouses' smoking status.

Conclusion: Spouses' smoking habits were associated with poor health-related behavior in their partners.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Life Style*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data*