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‘Gangwon Province residents smoke, drink the most’

Adult males in Gangwon Province showed the highest smoking and drinking rates while those in the Jeolla provinces stayed the most sober and smoke-free, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The more stable a region’s economy, the more likely its residents will refrain from an unhealthy lifestyle, the institute said.

According to its research based on data collected from 227,700 people registered at 253 local public healthcare centers nationwide, Gangwon adult male residents had the top smoking rate at 52.7 percent, followed by Jeju at 52.3. Gwangju showed the lowest with 43.3 percent, followed by North Jeolla Province at 44.1 and Seoul at 44.2.

Drinking was also a problem among Gangwon residents. About 18.9 percent of adult males had drunk more than seven glasses of soju more than twice a week for the previous year, the highest in the nation. The second-highest was South Gyeongsang Province at 18.9 percent, followed by Jeju at 17.4 and Busan with 17.2.

South Jeolla residents had the lowest rate at 10.8 percent, followed by Gwangju with 12.2 and Ulsan with 12.4.

This lifestyle left Gangwon (27 percent) and Jeju (26.9 percent) residents more overweight. In contrast, the percentage of overweight residents was relatively low in Gwangju (21.1 percent) and South Jeolla Province (21.2 percent). Residents of these areas were more keen to keep themselves fit, taking part in regular exercise more than five days a week. They were also less stressed and less depressed than those who showed higher smoking and drinking rates.

“It seems like wealth was a strong indicator in the difference. People of the relatively wealthier regions tend to control smoking and drinking habits,” said KCDC head Lee Jong-ku.

The authorities called for stricter monitoring on those who enjoy liquor and cigarettes as such habits are strongly linked to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. About 15.9 percent to 19.6 percent of people with hypertension and 19.2 percent to 26.1 percent of diabetic people were smokers. About 16 percent to 27.4 percent of those who had both diseases were smokers. They resided mostly in Jeju and Gangwon.

“We are looking for a more effective strategy to raise awareness of the threats of drinking and smoking,” Lee added.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

<한글 요약>

강원도 성인 남성들의 음주와 흡연율이 전국에서 가장 높은 반면, 전라도 남성들은 가장 낮은 음주와 흡연율을 보인다고 질병관리본부가 31일 밝혔다.

전국 보건소 253곳에서 19세 이상 성인 22만7700명을 대상으로 이뤄진 이번 조사에 따르면 강원도의 성인 남성 흡연율은 52.7%로 가장 높았고 제주가 52.3%로 그 뒤를 이었다. 반면 광주 (43.3%), 전북44.1%), 서울(44.2%)은 낮은 편이었다.

음주율 또한 강원도가 18.9%로 가장 높았고 전남이 10.8%로 가장 낮았다. 작년 한 해 동안 강원도 남성은 일주일에 두 번 이상 7잔 이상의 소주를 마신 것으로 나타났다.

강원도와 제주도 도민들의 비만율은 각각 27%와 26.9%로 전국에서 가장 높았다. 반면 광주와 전남의 경우 21.1%, 21.2%로 낮았다. 이 지역 주민들은 일주일에 5일 이상 규칙적인 운동을 하는 것으로 밝혀졌다.

이종구 질병관리본부장은 “경제 수준이 높은 지역일수록 음주와 흡연을 더 자제하는 경향이 있다”며 “음주와 흡연의 위험성을 알리는 더 효과적인 방법을 모색하고 있는 중”이라고 덧붙였다.

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