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Background: Physical activity (PA) and smoking have been reported to be associated with the duration and severity of common cold symptoms. However, few studies have addressed the associations between the frequency of leisure-time exercise, cigarette smoking status and the frequency of the common cold in a cold area. This study was designed to investigate these issues in northeastern China. Methods: This cross-sectional study included individuals who participated in a regular health examination conducted in Jilin Province, China. Information on episodes of the common cold, the frequency of leisure-time exercise and cigarette smoking status in the past year were collected by self-administered health questionnaires. Ordinal logistic regression models were used to analyse the associations between the frequency of leisure-time exercise, cigarette smoking status and the retrospective frequency of common cold. Results: A total of 1413 employees participated in the study, with an average age of 38.92 ± 9.04 years and 44.4% of them were male. Of all participants, 80.8% reported having experienced the common cold in the past year. After adjustment, the risk of suffering from the common cold more than once (odds ratios (ORs), 1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.27-1.99) in passive smokers was 1.59 times as high as that in non-smokers. Nevertheless, the results of the adjusted analysis showed no statistically significant relation between current smoking and the frequency of the common cold. A high frequency of leisure-time exercise (≥3 days/week) was associated with a 26% reduced risk of having at least one episode of the common cold (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-0.98) compared with a low frequency group (< 4 days/month). For current and passive smokers, the protective effect of a high frequency of leisure-time exercise appears not to be obvious (current smokers: OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.33-1.43; passive smokers: OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.69-1.93). Conclusion: Passive smoking was associated with a higher risk of having self-reported common cold at least once, while a high frequency of leisure-time exercise was related to a lower risk of reporting more than one episode of the disease in Chinese.
Zhou, G., Liu, H., He, M., Yue, M., Gong, P., Wu, F., … Zhang, X. (2018). Smoking, leisure-time exercise and frequency of self-reported common cold among the general population in northeastern China: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5203-5