OBJECTIVE To analyse socioeconomic differences in serum thiocyanate concentrations among current smokers, and whether such differences persist after adjustment for the number of cigarettes smoked.
SETTING General population of six districts of the Czech Republic in 1992.
PARTICIPANTS 451 male and 282 female current smokers.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Serum concentration of thiocyanate.
RESULTS There was a clear educational gradient in serum thiocyanate among male smokers; car ownership and crowding were not related to thiocyanate. Age adjusted mean concentrations in men with primary, vocational, secondary, and university education were 168.6, 158.2, 148.2, and 141.8 μmol/l, respectively (p for trend 0.032). Adjustment for the average daily number of cigarettes explained a part of this gradient. Socioeconomic differences in serum thiocyanate were not seen in women.
CONCLUSION The strong gradient in men suggests that smokers from lower socioeconomic groups have a preference for higher smoke intake and so may be more nicotine dependent. This finding, if confirmed, would have important implications for anti-smoking programmes.
- socioeconomic groups
- serum thiocyanate
- smoke intake
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