Introduction: Compared to men, the decline in smoking during the past few decades has been slower for women, and smoking-related morbidity and mortality has increased substantially. Identifying sex-specific risk factors will inform more targeted intervention/prevention efforts. The purpose of this research is to examine the interactive effect of psychological (trait antagonism) and social (perceived sex discrimination) factors on current cigarette smoking and whether these effects differ by sex. Methods: Participants in the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study (HANDLS; N = 454) and participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; N = 8,155) completed measures of antagonism, perceived sex discrimination, and reported whether they smoked currently. Logistic regressions were used to predict smoking from antagonism, discrimination, and their interaction. Results: Antagonism was associated with an increased risk of smoking. For women, there was an interaction between antagonism and discrimination: among women who perceived sex discrimination, every standard deviation increase in antagonism was associated with a 2.5 increased risk of current smoking in HANDLS (odds ratio [OR] = 2.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.46-4.39) and an almost 1.5 increased risk in HRS (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.18-1.73). This interaction was not significant for men in either sample. Conclusion: In 2 independent samples, perceived sex discrimination amplified the effect of antagonism on cigarette smoking for women but not men. A hostile disposition and a perceived hostile social environment have a synergistic effect on current cigarette smoking for women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health