Korean J Fam Med.  2020 Sep;41(5):306-311. 10.4082/kjfm.18.0148.

Associations between Living Alone and Smoking and Alcohol Consumption in Korean Adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Sahmyook Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Recently, single-person households have increased in Korea and this trend may have potential public health implications and affect various health behaviors. This study investigated the associations between living alone and health behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption among Korean adults.
Methods
We used data from the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2013 and 2015 and a total of 17,088 adults were included. We performed a multivariable logistic regression analysis and calculated odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results
Single-person households accounted for about 10% of the total participants. The proportions of currently smoking and heavy alcohol consumption were higher among individuals living alone than those living together among younger women and middle-aged and elderly men and women. In the multivariable logistic regression analysis, living alone was associated with increased odds of currently smoking compared to living together among middle-aged men and women (OR, 7.37; 95% CI, 2.33–23.32 in men and OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.04–5.36 in women) after adjusting for confounding variables.
Conclusion
From this nationwide, population-based study, we found that living alone is associated with increased odds of currently smoking, especially in middle-aged people. Public health concerns may be warranted for middle-aged single-person households to reduce health risks related to smoking.

Keyword

Single-Person Household; Living Alone; Health Behavior; Smoking; Alcohol Consumption; Korean Adults
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