Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second- hand smoke

January 01, 0001

Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second- hand smoke

Exposure to second-hand smoke is common in many countries but the magnitude of the problem worldwide is poorly described. The researchers from Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and Switzerland aimed to estimate the worldwide exposure to second-hand smoke and its burden of disease in children and adult non-smokers in 2004, estimated as deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for children and adult non-smokers.

Worldwide, 40% of children, 33% of male non- smokers, and 35% of female non-smokers were exposed to second-hand smoke in 2004. This exposure was estimated to have caused 379,000 deaths from ischaemic heart disease, 165,000 from lower respiratory infections, 36,900 from asthma, and 21,400 from lung cancer. 603,000 deaths were attributable to second-hand smoke in 2004, which was about 1·0% of worldwide mortality. 47% of deaths from second-hand smoke occurred in women, 28% in children, and 26% in men. DALYs lost because of exposure to second-hand smoke amounted to 10·9 million, which was about 0·7% of total worldwide burden of diseases in DALYs in 2004. 61% of DALYs were in children. The largest disease burdens were from lower respiratory infections in children younger than 5 years (5,939,000), ischaemic heart disease in adults (2,836,000), and asthma in adults (1,246,000) and children (651,000).

The researchers concluded: "These estimates of worldwide burden of disease attributable to second-hand smoke suggest that substantial health gains could be made by extending effective public health and clinical interventions to reduce passive smoking worldwide."

This can also be achieved by reducing smoking.

For the full abstract, click here.

The Lancet 8 January 2011 377 (9760):139 - 146
© 2011 Elsevier Limited
Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second-hand smoke: a retrospective analysis of data from 192 countries. Mattias Öberg, Maritta S Jaakkola, Alistair Woodward, Armando Peruga and Annette Prüss-Ustün. Correspondence to Annette Prüss-Ustün: [email protected]

Category: Z. Social Problems. Keywords: exposure, second-hand smoke, burden, disease, worldwide, retrospective analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 28 January 2011

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