Biochemically-verified smoking rate trends and factors associated with inaccurate self-reporting of smoking habits in Korean women

Hyun Goo Kang, Kyoung Hyun Kwon, In Wook Lee, Boyoung Jung, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lung cancer is a major cause of Korean female mortality and is clearly associated with smoking. The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV-2,3), which included both self-reports of smoking and urinary cotinine data, revealed a significant discrepancy between the prevalence of self-reported and biochemically-verified female smokers. The factors associated with accurate self-reporting of current smoking status remain poorly understood, however. Materials and Methods: We assessed the prevalence of smoking in KNHANES using both self-report and urinary cotinine data. Subsequently, using univariate and multivariate tests, we assessed whether age, intensity of smoking, marital status, relationship with cohabitants, education, occupation, residential area, or annual household income were associated with inaccurate selfreporting in Korean females. We also investigated whether the prevalence of inaccurate self-reports changed over the survey period, 2008-2009. Results: The prevalence of self-reported smoking was 47.8% in males and 6.6% in females. By contrast, the prevalence of smoking as assessed by urinary cotinine levels was 52.2% in males and 14.5% in females. Of the 746 females with urinary cotinine levels >50ng/ml, 407 (56.0%) provided inaccurate self-reports. In a multivariate model, age group(40-49: OR 3.54, 95%CI 1.42-8.86, p=0.007; ref :20-29), cotinine intensity(OR 0.999, 95%CI 0.998-0.999, p<0.001), marital status (married but without spouse: OR 0.37, 95%CI 0.15-0.94, p=0.037; ref :never married), relationship with cohabitants (living with a spouse and unmarried child: OR 2.63, 95%CI 1.44-4.80, p=0.002; living with 2 generations except unmarried child: OR 2.53, 95%CI 1.09-5.87, p=0.030; living with ≥3 generations: OR 3.25, 95%CI 1.48-7.10, p=0.003; ref :spouse only) and education(college or higher: OR 2.73, 95%CI 1.04-7.18, p=0.042; ref :elementary or less) were independently associated with inaccurate self-reports. Conclusions: The trend of smoking prevalence of Korean females is likely to decrease. However, an elevated prevalence of inaccurate self-reports by females remains. Factors related to the intensity of smoking and family status appear to influence whether a Korean female provides an accurate self-report when asked about smoking behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6807-6812
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Biochemically-verified smoking rate trends and factors associated with inaccurate self-reporting of smoking habits in Korean women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this