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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Educational Level and Chewing Tobacco Usages by Women in a Rural Population of Bangladesh

Sohel R. Choudhury, MBBS, PhD1, Mostafa Zaman, MBBS, MPH, PhD2, Jasimuddin Ahmed, MD, MCPS, PhD2, Sharker Md. Numan, MBBS, MS3, Sadequl Islam, MBBS3, Kawsar Parvin, MBBS2, Tuhin Haque, MBBS, PhD1, and Ayesha Akhter, MBBS, MCPS3. (1) Department of Epidemiology & Research, National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute, Plot 7/2, Section 2, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (2) National Center for Control of Rheumatic Fever and Heart Disease, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (3) Ekhlaspur Center of Health (ECOH), Ekhlaspur, Matlab North, Chandpur, Bangladesh

Objective: Data on association of levels of education with chewing tobacco usages by rural women in developing countries is scarce. This information is needed to identify target group in school based health education program. The objectives of the study were to determine the age specific prevalence of chewing tobacco usages and its relationship with educational levels in women in a rural population of Bangladesh.

Methods: Number of years of schooling and usages of any kind of chewing tobacco were assessed by questionnaire in a sample of 303 women aged 18 years or older. Prevalence of chewing tobacco usages was calculated and years of education between tobacco user and non-user were compared between middle-aged (< 45 yrs.) and older (=>45) age groups.

Results: Prevalence of tobacco usages was higher in the middle-aged women than in older age group (76.3% vs. 38%: p< 0.001). In middle-aged mean education years in tobacco user and non-user were 5.8 years (95% CI: 5.1- 6.4) and 3.4 years (2.3 - 4.4) respectively and in older group means were 2.8 years (2.0- 3.6) and 1.5 years (0.9 2.0) respectively. In middle-aged median year of education in tobacco user was five years. Tobacco user had higher education than non-users in middle-aged women. Education program targeting secondary level would miss a large number of female students as half of the tobacco user had education up to primary level. Therefore to impart knowledge about effects of chewing tobacco usages health education should be delivered at primary level.