Ten-year changes in smoking among young adults: are racial differences explained by socioeconomic factors in the CARDIA study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; African Americans; Analysis of Variance; Confidence Intervals; Coronary Disease; European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Odds Ratio; Population Surveillance; Poverty; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Sex Distribution; Smoking; Smoking Cessation; United States; Urban Health


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


OBJECTIVES: This study investigated whether socioeconomic factors explain racial/ethnic differences in regular smoking initiation and cessation.

METHODS: Data were derived from the CARDIA study, a cohort of 5115 healthy adults aged 18 to 30 years at baseline (1985-1986) and recruited from the populations of 4 US cities. Respondents were followed over 10 years.

RESULTS: Among 3950 respondents reexamined in 1995-1996, 20% of Whites and 33% of African Americans were smokers, as compared with 25% and 32%, respectively, in 1985-1986. On average, African Americans were of lower socioeconomic status. Ten-year regular smoking initiation rates for African American women, White women, African American men, and White men were 7.1%, 3.5%, 13.2%, and 5.1%, respectively, and the corresponding cessation rates were 25%, 35.1%, 19.2%, and 31.3%. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, most 95% confidence intervals of the odds ratios for regular smoking initiation and cessation in African Americans vs Whites included 1.

CONCLUSIONS: Less beneficial 10-year changes in smoking were observed in African Americans, but socioeconomic factors explained most of the racial disparity.


Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb;91(2):213-8.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed