How proactive are smokers in Greece with their health?
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George D. Behrakis Research Lab, Hellenic Cancer Society, Athens, Greece
Institute of Public Health, The American College of Greece, Athens, Greece
Athens Medical Center, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):9
Health monitoring is essential in disease prevention. Smokers are considered a high-risk population for smoking related morbidity and mortality; therefore, health monitoring is imperative. Aim of our study was to assess whether smokers are more proactive with their health than non-smokers.

Data derive from the most recent Health Survey conducted by the Hellenic Statistical Authority in 2019, including 8,125 participants 15-years-old and above. Dataset was weighted to become representative of the Greek population 15-years-old and above. Chi-squared tests were used to assess differences between smokers and non-smokers. Analysis was performed in Stata 14.

Smoking prevalence in Greece was estimated to be 29%, higher in males than females (36% vs 22%, p<0.001). Differences were observed regarding body-mass index (p=0.0003); a higher proportion of smokers were overweight (43% vs 37%) while a higher proportion of non-smokers were obese (17% vs 21%). Vaccination against the flu virus in the past 2 years was lower in smokers than non-smokers (22% vs 31%, p<0.001). Health monitoring by a health professional was observed in a lower proportion in smokers than non-smokers; blood pressure (p<0.001), blood cholesterol (p<0.001) and blood glucose (p<0.001) measurements were observed in a lower frequency in smokers than non-smokers (54% vs 63%, 60% vs 65% and 59% vs 65% respectively).

Smoking is associated with less health monitoring in Greece. More non-smokers monitor their health measurements and biomarkers compared to smokers. Campaigns tailored to increase smokers' awareness on health monitoring and disease prevention will aid early diagnosis and improve life expectancy.

No Conflicts of Interest were reported.
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