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J Epidemiol. 2002 Mar;12(2):93-104.

Rural-urban differences in sociodemographic, social network and lifestyle factors related to mortality of middle-aged Japanese men from the Komo-Ise cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.


To examine rural-urban differences in the relationships of sociodemographic, social network, and lifestyle factors to mortality in middle-aged men, we used the data from a community based prospective cohort study, the Komo-Ise study. The subjects were all men aged 40-69 years living in Komochi Village, the rural group (n=2,295), or the downtown district of Isesaki City, the urban group (n=3,334), as of 1993. They completed a self-administered questionnaire in 1993 and were followed for all-cause deaths until 2000. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to compute relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Low educated men and men without a spouse in the rural group had an increased risk of mortality (RR=4.4; 95%CI: 1.1-18.2, RR=2.4; 95%CI: 1.2-4.5). Men who did not enjoy good fellowship with their neighbors in the rural group had a decreased risk of mortality (RR=0.58; 95%CI: 0.35-0.97). Mortality risks were significantly higher in urban men not participating in hobbies, club activities or community groups (RR=1.6; 95%CI: 1.1-2.4). These variables remained significant risk factors, even after controlling for all sociodemographic, social network, lifestyle, and health status variables. Educational level, marital status and relation to neighborhoods showed significant rural-urban differences.

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