If current levels of smoking and biomass and coal fuel use in homes continues, between 2003 and 2033 there will be an estimated 65 million deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 18 million deaths from lung cancer in China, accounting for 19% and 5% of all deaths in that country during this period.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) predict that the combined effects of these two major factors alone will be responsible for more than 80% of COPD deaths and 75% of lung cancer deaths in China over a 30-year period. But interventions to reduce smoking and household use of biomass fuels and coal for cooking and heating could significantly reduce the number of deaths.
The findings are from a study that will appear online on October 4, 2008 and in the October 25, 2008 print issue of The Lancet. It is the first quantitative analysis to look at the combined effects of smoking and household fuel use on COPD, lung cancer and tuberculosis (TB).
Respiratory diseases are among the 10 leading causes of deaths in China. About half of Chinese men smoke and in more than 70% of homes in China residents cook and heat their homes with wood, coal and crop residues. Smoking and pollution from indoor burning of these fuels are major risk factors for COPD and lung cancer and have been linked with tuberculosis (TB). Globally, more than 900 million of the world's 1.1 billion smokers currently live in low-income and middle-income countries and about one half of the world's population uses biomass fuels and coal for household energy.
Using data on smoking, fuel use and current as well as projected levels of COPD, lung cancer and TB, the authors set out to estimate the effects of modifying smoking and fuel use on future COPD and lung cancer deaths and TB incidence. They grouped the results into scenarios based on whether interventions involved moderate control of smoking and fuel use, aggressive control or a complete cessation of exposures to the pollutants.
They found that reducing those two risk factors would significantly decrease deaths from COPD and lung cancer. If smoking and biomass and coal use were to be eliminated gradually over the next 30 years, an estimated 26 million COPD deaths (40% of projected COPD deaths) and 6 million lung cancer deaths (34% of projected lung cancer deaths) would be avoided. For moderate and aggressive control scenarios, deaths from these diseases could be reduced by an estimated 17% to 34% among men and 18% to 29% among women. There will also be major benefits for TB, above and beyond those that can be achieved through treatment.
Hsien-Ho Lin, a graduate student in the department of epidemiology at HSPH and the lead author of the study, said "this analysis shows that smoking and fuel use, which affects hundreds of millions of people in China, will be a defining feature of future health in that country."
Policy responses and specific interventions could help reduce the enormous disease burden from smoking and household fuel use. In the article, the authors suggest that at the national level, for example, authorities could create regulatory and economic policies that reduce smoking and promote clean household fuels. At the individual level, TB patients could be offered tobacco cessation programs.
"There are proven ways to reduce tobacco smoking and to provide homes with clean-burning energy alternatives. China can save millions of premature deaths from respiratory diseases in the next few decades if it leverages its effective policy system to implement these interventions," said Majid Ezzati, associate professor of international health at HSPH and senior author of the study.
"Effects of smoking and solid-fuel use on COPD, lung cancer, and tuberculosis in China: a time-based, multiple risk factor, modelling study," Hsien-Ho Lin, Megan M Murray, Ted Cohen, Caroline Colijn, Majid Ezzati, The Lancet, online October 4, 2008.
Harvard School of Public Health (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu) is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights.
Todd Datz | EurekAlert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences
18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences