Differences in quality of life among older adults in Brazil according to smoking status and nicotine dependence

Dayane Aparecida Viana, Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade, Luiz Claudio Martins, Leiner Resende Rodrigues, Darlene Mara Dos Santos Tavares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Research on quality of life QOL is limited in Brazil and few studies have examined the association between smoking status and quality of life. This study addresses this gap and also examines the association between smoking, nicotine dependence, and duration of smoking cessation on (QOL) among older adults in an urban area in Brazil. Methods: Data are from a household survey conducted in urban areas of Uberaba, Brazil, in 2012 (n = 980). Multivariable linear regressions were used to evaluate the association between smoking, nicotine dependence based on Fageström test, and smoking cessation on the World Health Organization Quality of Life WHOQOL-BREF and Quality of Life Assessment for Older Adults WHOQOL-OLD. Results: The mean age of older adults in the study was 74.0 (SD = 6.9 years) and 64% of participants were women. The majority, 55% had never smoked, 12.4% were current smokers, and 32.7% were past-smokers. Current smokers had lower scores for social participation (β = - 2.6) and intimacy (β = - 3.8) than never smokers. Smokers with high or very high dependence reported higher levels of fear and concern about death and pain before death than those with low or very low dependence (β = - 10.6). However, smokers with medium levels of nicotine dependence had higher scores on social relationship. Longer cessation time was positively associated with higher scores for psychological health. Conclusions: Except for the positive association between medium levels of nicotine dependence and better social relationships, smoking and higher levels of nicotine dependence were associated with worse QOL among older adults in Brazil. Nonetheless, smoking cessation had positive effects in QOL. Campaigns targeting older adults should point to the negative impact of tobacco use on QOL and the benefits of smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2019


  • Aging
  • Brazil
  • Quality of life
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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