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General Health : Lifestyle Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Smoking will kill 65 million Chinese in 30 years
By Ben Wasserman
Oct 4, 2008 - 1:43:36 PM

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Saturday Oct. 4, 2008 ( -- 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."

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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