Association of Smoking with General and Abdominal Obesity: Evidence from a Cohort Study in West of Iran

Satar Rezaei, Mohammad Hajizadeh, Yahya Pasdar, Behrooz Hamzeh, Mehdi Moradinazar, Farid Najafi


Background: This study aimed to examine the association between smoking and obesity among adults in Kermanshah Province, west of Iran.

Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: A total of 8822 participants, aged 35-65 yr, form Ravansar Non-communicable Disease (RaNCD) cohort study (2014-2016) were enrolled. Smoking habits were categorized in terms of smoking status (current, former and never smokers) and smoking intensity (light, moderate and heavy). General obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 and abdominal obesity were defined as a waist to hip ratio (WHR) ≥90 for men and ≥85 for women. Multiple logistic regressions were used to examine the association between general and abdominal obesity with smoking status and smoking intensity while controlling for age, sex, years of education and wealth index.

Results: Overall, 12% were current smokers, 8.4% former smokers and 79.6% never smokers. The prevalence of light, moderate and heavy smokers among current smokers was 30.8%, 18%, and 51.2%, respectively. The prevalence of general obesity was 27.6%, while the prevalence of abdominal obesity was 82.3%. The probabilities of general and abdominal obesity for current smokers were lower than never smokers by 34% and 36%, respectively. The probability of abdominal obesity for heavy smokers was 31% lower than light smokers. We did not observe significant associations between smoking intensity and general obesity.

Conclusions: Current smokers compared to never smokers were less likely to be obese. The reverse association between smoking and obesity; however, should not be interpreted as a causal relationship.


Smoking; Obesity; Abdominal obesity; Cross-sectional study; Iran

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