Objective -To study whether passive smoking at work is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Design -Case-control study.
Setting -Xi'an, China.
Subjects -59 patients with coronary heart disease and 126 controls, all Chinese women with full time jobs, who had never smoked cigarettes.
Results -The crude odds ratio for passive smoking from husband was 2.12 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 4.25) and at work was 2.45 (1.23 to 4.88). The final logistic regression model, with passive smoking from husband and at work as the base, included age, history of hypertension, type A personality, and total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations; the adjusted odds ratios for passive smoking from husband and at work were 1.24 (0.56 to 2.72) and 1.85 (0.86 to 4.00) respectively. For passive smoking at work, statistically significant linear trends of increasing risks (for both crude and adjusted odds ratios) with increasing exposures (amount exposed daily, number of smokers, number of hours exposed daily, and cumulative exposure) were observed. When these exposure variables were analysed as continuous variables, the crude and adjusted odds ratios were also significant.
Conclusion -Passive smoking at work is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Urgent public health measures are needed to reduce smoking and to protect non-smokers from passive smoking in China.