-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- There could be 18 million
more tuberculosis (TB) cases and 40 million more TB deaths
worldwide over the next 40 years if smoking rates stay at their
current levels, a new study warns.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs. Smoking
raises the risk of contracting TB and of dying from the disease,
explained lead author Dr. Sanjay Basu of the University of
California, San Francisco.
The researchers used World Health Organization data to predict
the number of TB infections and deaths among smokers between 2010
Along with their alarming finding about the increased numbers of
smoking-related TB cases and deaths, the researchers also concluded
that strict tobacco control that leads to a 1 percent annual drop
in a country's smoking rates could reduce the death toll by 27
million over the next 40 years.
is tuberculosis control," senior author Stanton Glantz, a
professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco
Control Research and Education at UCSF, said in a university news
Currently, nearly one-fifth of the world's population smokes
tobacco or uses other tobacco products. That rate is expected to
rise in many poor countries that don't restrict tobacco
Most of the world's smokers live in countries with high TB
rates, Basu noted.
"The tobacco industry has spent decades working to convince developing countries as well as funding agencies that they should not 'waste' their time on tobacco control, but rather focus on infectious diseases like tuberculosis at the same time that the multinational tobacco companies were expanding aggressively in those very countries," Basu said in the news release.
"This paper shows that, because smoking and passive smoking facilitate the spread of TB and the transition from infection to active TB, reducing tobacco use is an important key to achieving the millennium development goals for TB," Basu said.
The millennium goal was to slash the TB death rate in half
between 1990 and 2015 through programs focused on detection and
treatment of active TB cases.
The study was published online Oct. 4 in the
British Medical Journal.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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