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Am J Public Health. 1999 May;89(5):691-8.

The impact of smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity on use of hospital services.

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  • 1UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland.



This study investigated the associations of smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity with the use of hospital care.


A cohort of 19- to 63-year-old Finnish men (n = 2534) and women (n = 2668) were followed prospectively for 16 years. Number of hospital days was extracted from the national hospital discharge registry, while data concerning exposure variables were derived from the baseline questionnaire.


After adjustment for confounders, male smokers had 70% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 49%, 95%) and female smokers had 49% (95% CI = 29%, 71%) more hospital days due to my cause than did those who had never smoked. Men consuming a moderate amount of alcohol had 21% (95% CI = 10%, 31%) fewer hospital days due to any cause than did nondrinkers. Men who had the lowest energy expenditure during leisure-time physical activity had 36% (95% CI = 15%, 63%) more hospital days than the most active men. The figure for women was 23% (95% CI = 4%, 44%).


Smoking was strongly associated with an increased use of hospital services. The associations of alcohol consumption and leisure-time physical activity with use of hospital care depended on the diagnosis under study.

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