Passive smoking, active smoking, and education: Their relationship to weight history in women in Geneva

Martine Bernstein, Alfredo Morabia, Stéphane Héritier, Nairn Katchatrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives. This study was undertaken to determine the relationship of education and tobacco smoke to lifetime weight history in women. Methods. Information on passive smoking, active smoking, and weight history was collected from 928 women aged 29 to 74 years selected from the general population of Geneva, Switzerland. Multivariate analysis of variance was performed for weight, weight at age 20, and weight change since age 20. Results. Education was inversely related to weight at age 20, current weight, and weight gain since age 20. The least educated group had a current weight of 4 kg more than the most educated group. Differences across smoking categories were small: passive smokers had the highest current weight (63.4 kg) and former active smokers had the lowest (60.4 kg). Weight gain since age 20 tended to be smaller in former and current active smokers (5.5 to 7.2 kg) than in passive smokers (8.3 to 10.4 kg) and those never exposed (9.1 kg). Conclusions. In this sample, education was an important predictor of women's current weight and weight history. Passive and active smoking had little long-term effect on weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267-1272
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996
Externally publishedYes

Cite this