Objectives : To analyze differences in health behaviors among the social strata in Korea by using the 1995 National Health and Health Behavior Survey Data. Methods : Study Participants numbered 2,352 men and 1,016 women aged between 15-64 years old, with housewives, students and non-waged family workers excluded. Health behaviors in this study were defined according to the recommendations of the Alameda 7 study. The measure of health behaviors was based on the Health Practices Index(HPI; 0-5 range, with the exclusion of snacking between meals and regularly eating breakfast) developed by the Alameda County research. The significance of the relationship between social strata and HPI was assessed by considering the adjusted means from the multi-variate model. Results : For men, incidence rates of never having smoked, no/moderate use of alcohol, regular exercise, and regular 7-8 hours sleep per night were higher in the upper social strate. Meanwhile, for women, incidence rates of never having smoked, no/moderate use of alcohol, appropriate weight, regular exercise, and regular 7-8 hours sleep per night were higher in the upper strata. HPI varied significantly among social strata in both sexes (p<0.001), a result which held true when adjusted for age, education, income, social insurance type, marital status and region. Conclusions : Health behaviors assessed by Health Practices Index(HPI) varied significantly among social strata for both sexes. Therefore, the existing gap in health behaviors among social strata can be corrected more effectively by target oriented health promotional activities.
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