London, Oct 4 : Smoking and coal fuel use in homes are likely to claim more than 80 million people's lives over the next quarter-century in China, according to a new research.
The study says that if current levels of smoking and biomass and coal fuel use in homes continues, between 2003 and 2033 there will be an estimated 65 million deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 18 million deaths from lung cancer in China, accounting for 19 percent and 5percent of all deaths in that country during this period.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) predict that the combined effects of these two major factors alone will be responsible for more than 80percent of COPD deaths and 75 percent of lung cancer deaths in China over a 30-year period, reports the Lancet.
But interventions to reduce smoking and household use of biomass fuels and coal for cooking and heating could significantly reduce the number of deaths.
The findings are from a study that will appear online on October 4, 2008 and in the October 25, 2008 print issue of The Lancet. It is the first quantitative analysis to look at the combined effects of smoking and household fuel use on COPD, lung cancer and tuberculosis (TB).
Respiratory diseases are among the 10 leading causes of deaths in China. About half of Chinese men smoke and in more than 70percent of homes in China residents cook and heat their homes with wood, coal and crop residues.
Smoking and pollution from indoor burning of these fuels are major risk factors for COPD and lung cancer and have been linked with tuberculosis (TB).