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Prevalence and Associated Factors of Betel Quid Use in the Solomon Islands: A Hyperendemic Area for Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer

Silent TovosiaNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Ping-Ho ChenNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Allen Min-Jen KoNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Hung-Pin TuNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Pei-Chien TsaiNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Ying-Chin KoNational Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Solomon Islands; Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Chewing betel quid is a popular habit in tropical areas. It is also a known fact that oral cancer is one of the most common cancers in the Solomon Islands, where betel quid chewing is prevalent. This study explores the prevalence of betel quid chewing in the Solomon Islands and related sociodemographic factors. A community-based survey was designed for the entire Solomon Islands people. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, habits of betel quid chewing, smoking, and drinking was collected by trained interviewers with a standard questionnaire. The prevalence of betel quid chewers, smokers, and drinkers was 76.8%, 53.0%, and 36.8%, respectively. Betel quid use was closely associated with smoking (aOR = 3.95; 95% CI: 1.87–8.33). Seventh-Day Adventist subjects were less likely to chew betel quid (aOR = 0.08; 95% CI: 0.04–0.18). Efforts to reduce habitual betel quid consumption and smoking might be of benefit in reduction of oral cancer incidence.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Ying-Chin Ko, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Telephone: 886–7–3114418, Fax: 886–7–3162725, E-mail: ycko@kmu.edu.tw.
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