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Study: Tobacco control would avert 40 million deaths from tuberculosis

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Using a mathematical modeling analysis, researchers have found smoking could lead to 40 million excess deaths from tuberculosis (TB) linked to smoking by the year 2050.

Smoking will claim more lives from TB

From the study, led by Sanjay Basu from the University of California, scientists estimated there will be 18 million more cases of TB worldwide between 2010 and 2050. Deaths from the disease could be averted with more aggressive tobacco control measures.

The authors say smoking could undermine goals of the Millennium Development Goal to reduce deaths from tuberculosis by half between 1990 and 2015.

The purpose of the study was to predict the impact of smoking tobacco and risk of dying from tuberculosis. The authors note tobacco companies have expanded their market to countries where TB is prevalent.

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Twenty percent of the world’s population smokes, and a majority are in countries with already high rates of the disease.

Smoking increases the risk of dying from tuberculosis, making large numbers of the population at risk.

According to the model, the African, Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions would have the highest increase in tuberculosis rates from smoking.

The authors write, "Aggressively lowering the prevalence of tobacco smoking could reduce smoking attributable deaths from tuberculosis by 27 million by 2050."

The model looked at death rates from smoking and tuberculosis between 2010 and 2050.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), projected 18 million more cases of TB from smoking and 40 million deaths from tuberculosis between 2010 and 2050.

The authors concluded, “Aggressive tobacco control could avert millions of deaths from tuberculosis”, that are predicted to occur between 2010 and 2050.