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J Epidemiol. 2000 May;10(3):149-56.

Relationship between health practices and education level in the rural Japanese population.

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  • 1Research Unit for Public Health Nursing, Miyagi University School of Nursing, Japan.


Past studies in Europe and the USA have found that people with higher education levels have better health practices. The aim of this study was to examine the association between health practices and education level among people in a rural Japanese community. Data were derived from the Ohsaki National Health Insurance Cohort Study, which has been following 52,029 NHI beneficiaries, aged 40 to 79 years, in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The relationship between education level and seven health indices (smoking, drinking, body mass index, sleeping, exercise, breakfast, and snacks) was analyzed. Higher education was associated with shorter sleeping hours for both men and women, and lower BMI for women. In age groups younger than 70 years, people with higher education tended to exercise more. Smoking for women, alcohol consumption, and a Health Practices Index were not related to education levels. These results are different from those from Europe and the USA. This study suggest that the relationship between health practices and education level is weaker in Japan than in Europe and the USA.

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