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Saturday Oct. 4, 2008
(foodconsumer.org) -- There will be 65 million deaths from chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD and 18 million deaths from lung
cancer in China between 2003 and 2033 if China maintains current
levels of smoking and use of biomass and coal fuel in homes,
according to a new study.
Together the deaths will account for 24
percent of all deaths in the country during the 30-year period,
predicted by researchers at the Harvard School of public Health.
Smoking and use of biomass and coal in
homes together will be responsible for more than 80 percent of deaths
from COPD and 75 percent of lung cancer deaths in china during the
30-year period, the researchers said.
The study published in The Lancet,a
prestigious British medical journal, was meant to examine the
association between smoking and household use of coal and deaths of
COPD, lung cancer and tuberculosis.
In China, about half of Chinese men
smoke and more than 70 percent homes cook and heat their homes with
wood, coal, and agricultural products. Indoor use of these fuels
have been linked to COPD, lung cancer and TB.
Hsien-Ho Lin and colleagues found
reducing these two risk factors may decrease deaths from COPD and
lung cancer by an estimated 40 percent COPD deaths (26 million) and
34 percent lung cancer deaths (6 million) over the 30-year period.
For men, the risk of death from COPD
and lung cancer will be reduced by 17 to 34 percent and for women,
the risk will be cut by 18 to 29 percent.
Reducing these two risks will also
decease risk of TB.
Hsien-Ho Lin, 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."