Environmental tobacco smoke and mortality in Chinese women who have never smoked: prospective cohort study

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the association of environmental exposure to tobacco smoke from husbands and from work, as well as from family members in early life, with all cause mortality and mortality due to cancer or cardiovascular disease in Chinese women.

Design

Ongoing prospective cohort study in Shanghai, China.

Participants

Of 72 829 women who had never smoked, 65 180 women provided information on smoking by their husbands, and 66 520 women provided information on exposure to tobacco smoke at work and in early life from family members.

Main outcome measures

All cause mortality and cause specific mortality with the main focus on cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cumulative mortality according to exposure status, and hazard ratios.

Results

Exposure to tobacco smoke from husbands (mainly current exposure) was significantly associated with increased all cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.31) and with increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease (1.37, 1.06 to 1.78). Exposure to tobacco smoke at work was associated with increased mortality due to cancer (1.19, 0.94 to 1.50), especially lung cancer (1.79, 1.09 to 2.93). Exposure in early life was associated with increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease (1.26, 0.94 to 1.69).

Conclusions

In Chinese women, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is related to moderately increased risk of all cause mortality and mortality due to lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

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