One million smoking-related deaths in India during 2010: Study

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London, Feb 14 (UNI) The annual number of smoking-related deaths among adults in India will be about one million during 2010, according to a study.

The study predicted that the excess number of deaths among adult smokers in 2010 will be about 930,000, including 580,000 deaths among men and 90,000 deaths among women between the ages of 30 and 69 years.

The researchers have calculated that on average, men who smoke bidis lose about six years of life while those who smoke full size cigarettes shorten their lives by about ten years.

The New England Journal of Medicine study found smoking already accounts for 900,000 deaths a year in India. The figures are based on a survey of deaths among a sample of 1.1 million homes in all parts of India carried out by about 900 field workers.

For men who died between the ages of 30 and 69, 38 per cent deaths were caused by turberculosis, 32 per cent from cancer and 20 per cent from vascular diseases.

Warning that the toll could mount further, if appropriate action would not be taken, the study said smoking might soon account for 20 per cent of all male deaths and 5 per cent of all female deaths between the examined age group.

The study is based on a sample survey of deaths across India.

It is estimated that there are about 120 million smokers in India.

However, smoking starts at somewhat older ages in India than it does in Europe and North America, and the average daily consumption per smoker is lower, the study said.

It was found that persons who died were older and less educated and had a higher prevalence of smoking, tobacco chewing, and alcohol use. Between the ages of 40 and 59 years, smoking was more common among men without primary education (44 per cent) than among other men (35 per cent).

Between the ages of 40 and 59 years, the prevalence of smoking was 6 per cent for women without primary education and 2 per cent for other women.

The nationally representative case control study found that in both rural and urban India, among men between the ages of 30 and 69 years, the rate of death from any medical cause in smokers was 1.7 times that in non-smokers of similar age, educational level, and alcohol status (use or nonuse).

Among female smokers, mortality from any medical cause was double that among their nonsmoking counterparts. Most of the excess mortality was from tuberculosis or from respiratory, vascular, or neoplastic disease.


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