An exploration of the association between khat chewing and health outcomes in UK-resident male Yemeni khat chewers
Aims: 1) To identify the characteristics of a sample of Yemeni Khat chewers in Sheffield. 2) To investigate how these characteristics are associated with: a) Self-rated "compromised‟ health. b) Self-reported oral health problems. c) Self- reported health conditions and d) Self-reported "high‟ nicotine dependence. Methods: This cross sectional study recruited a purposive sample of male khat chewers aged 18 years and above, selected during random visits to khat sellers. Data were collected through face to face structured interviews and validated using saliva and expired carbon monoxide samples. Data collected were analysed using simple descriptive, univariate and hierarchical logistic regression analyses. Results: Two hundred and four khat-chewing volunteers with a mean age of 44.84 years were interviewed. Sixty five percent were unemployed and 66% had a low level of completed education. Sixty five percent were tobacco smokers. Being older (OR=4.47, 95%CI=1.46-13.66), unemployed (OR=5.49, 95%CI=1.89-15.96), living in uncrowded housing (OR=2.65, 95%CI=1.13-6.22) and reporting low social participation (OR=2.61, 95%CI=1.22-5.61) were found to be statistically significantly associated with self-rated "compromised‟ health. A low level of completed education was found to be statistically significantly associated with self-reported oral problems (OR=2.27, 95%CI=1.02-5.04). Self-reported health conditions were found to be statistically significantly associated with being older (OR=3.10, 95%CI=1.32-7.28), unemployed (OR=4.25, 95%CI=1.57-11.47) and living in uncrowded housing (OR=2.96, 95%CI=1.38-6.37). Finally, self-reported „high‟ nicotine dependence was found to be statistically significantly associated with starting smoking in the UK or elsewhere as opposed to Yemen (OR=3.18, 95%CI=1.03-9.77), being divorced, single or widowed (OR=3.29, 95%CI=1.11-9.74) and reporting low social participation 2 (OR=3.69, 95%CI=1.18-11.51). Conclusions: A range of demographic and socio-cultural factors were identified that correlated with health impacts, reflecting social inequalities amongst this sample of khat chewers.
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