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Soz Praventivmed. 2005;50(4):197-205.

The lack of social gradient of health behaviors and psychosocial factors in Northern Italy.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College of London, Great Britain.



To examine inequalities in health behaviors and psychosocial factors in Northern Italy.


The study was based on a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) of 4 002 non-institutionalized adults living in the Veneto region of Italy.


Cigarette smoking, binge drinking, fruit and vegetables consumption and stress failed to show a social gradient. Only physical activity was significantly associated with social class. Stress was a significant predictor of physical inactivity, smoking and low fruit and vegetable intake. Lack of emotional support was associated with smoking and physical inactivity among males, and low fruit and vegetable intake for both genders.


Three proposed explanations may account for the lack of consistent social gradient of health behaviors in Northern Italy: a) socio-economic context; b) uncompleted epidemiological transition of behavioral risk factors across social classes; c) lack of systematic health promotion efforts. Future research is needed to examine the plausibility of such explanations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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