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Alcohol. 2006 Jun;39(2):87-96. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

A comparative survey on alcohol and tobacco use in urban and rural populations in the Huaihua District of Hunan Province, China.

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  • 1Mental Health Institute and WHO Collaborating Center for Drug Abuse and Health, the 2nd Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, PR China.


Modern Chinese society is comprised primarily of two subgroups-urban and rural subpopulations. However, comparative data regarding alcohol and tobacco use between urban and rural subgroups in China is sparse. An epidemiological survey was conducted in the Huaihua District of Hunan Province of China, and 3,543 urban and 4,294 rural dwellers aged 15-65 years were interviewed. The drinking rates were higher in the urban area (45.9%) than in the rural area (39.6%), whereas the smoking rates were higher in the rural area (35.9%) than in the urban area (28.7%). Rural respondents were more likely to report heavy drinking (Adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.77) and heavy smoking (Adjusted OR=2.46) than urban populations. Specifically, rural males had higher odds of heavy alcohol and tobacco use than urban males, whereas more urban females were more likely to drink and smoke than rural counterparts. The findings suggest that the status of alcohol and tobacco use varies in the urban and rural area. The heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption among rural populations underscores the need to develop and implement culturally appropriate public health intervention and awareness arising programs especially in rural China.

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