Inverse association between cigarette and water pipe smoking and hypertension in an elderly population in Iran: Bushehr elderly health programme

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The collected data in Bushehr Elderly Health (BEH) Program which had detailed the data on participants' smoking status and habits, was analysed to investigate the association between smoking of both water pipes and cigarettes and hypertension in an elderly population. Three thousand elderly men and women who participated in the baseline assessment of the BEH Program—a prospective population-based study being conducted in Bushehr, Iran—were selected randomly through a multistage, stratified cluster sampling method. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured twice using a mercury sphygmomanometer, and researchers asked participants about medical history of hypertension as well as history of cigarette and water pipe smoking. Researchers used binary logistic regression models to assess the association of hypertension and smoking, and found an inverse, statistically significant association between current smoking and hypertension (odds ratio (OR) = 0.50 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.41, 0.60)). The association remained statistically significant after controlling for age, education and body mass index (OR = 0.54 (95% CI = 0.45, 0.66)). Findings were consistent for cigarette and water pipe smoking by sex (all ORs were inverse and statistically significant). Both cigarette and water pipe smoking were associated with reduced hypertension among older people, but the strength of association was different between men and women and also between cigarette and water pipe smoking. The reasons behind the association as well as the differences observed need to be investigated through more comprehensive, longitudinal studies.

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