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Elderly more likely to deny smoking when asked, says Case Western Reserve University researcher
Date:2/7/2008

CLEVELANDMore elderly adults are lighting up cigarettes and not reporting their nicotine habits to doctors and others, according to findings from one of the first studies to examine the accuracy of self-reported smoking habits by age, race and gender of adults 18 years and older by researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and other university collaborators. A combined total of 8 percent of people from all age and race groups studied were true smokers but had denied it.

The findings bring into question the validity of using self-reported tobacco use when conducting research projects, reporting tobacco use by the general public or caring for individuals with chronic diseases related to smoking, according to researchers of the study, Age and Race/Ethnicity-Gender Predictors of Denying Smoking, United States. The study has been published in the current Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

The researchers conducted their study by identifying self-reported non-smokers from 15, 182 adults in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They examined usage by age groups of 18-34, 35-54, 55-74, and 75-90. Groups of men and women were broken down by race and ethnicity into Mexican American, non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black groups. The age group of 60 and older was also broken down into cognitively competent.

Denying smoking overall increased with age from 6% of 18-34 year olds to 25% of the elderly over the age of 75, said the articles lead author, Monica Fisher, Ph.D., DDS, MS, MPH, an associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

Non-Hispanic white men and women followed the pattern of the overall study and increased denial with age. However denial of smoking decreased for older Mexican American women, but the denial rate basically remained stable over age for non-Hispanic black men and women and Mexican Amer
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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