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HKU 10-Year Follow-Up Study indicated that Smoking Largely Increases Mortality in Elderly as 1/3 will be Killed by Smoking
2011.05.16
The School of Public Health of The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has conducted a 10-year follow-up study based on 18 Elderly Health Centres of Department of Health. It was found that among elderly smokers aged 65-84, one out of three were killed by smoking. The risks of lung cancer and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality are increased by 277% and 35% respectively compared with non smokers.The School of Public Health of The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has conducted a 10-year follow-up study based on 18 Elderly Health Centres of Department of Health. It was found that among elderly smokers aged 65-84, one out of three were killed by smoking. The risks of lung cancer and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality are increased by 277% and 35% respectively compared with non smokers.

Based on the data gathered from 18 Elderly Health Centres for 64,654 senior citizens aged 65-84 who first enrolled to the centres during 1998 to 2001, the School had collected their information on smoking and other risk factors through interviews and Deaths Registries. The elderly people were followed up for about 10 years on average so as to find out the association of smoking, quitting and mortality in Hong Kong elderly.

Up to October 2010, 14,438 deaths were observed among over 60,000 elderly participants. Compared with non smokers, the risks of all-cause, lung cancer and CHD morality in current elderly smokers are increased by 55%, 277% and 35% respectively. Compared with current smokers, the risks of morality amongst ex-smokers are reduced by 4%, 32% and 7% respectively. The study also shows that there are 27.8 deaths per year per 1,000 persons which is much higher than that of non smokers (17.9 deaths).Up to October 2010, 14,438 deaths were observed among over 60,000 elderly participants. Compared with non smokers, the risks of all-cause, lung cancer and CHD morality in current elderly smokers are increased by 55%, 277% and 35% respectively. Compared with current smokers, the risks of morality amongst ex-smokers are reduced by 4%, 32% and 7% respectively. The study also shows that there are 27.8 deaths per year per 1,000 persons which is much higher than that of non smokers (17.9 deaths).

Prof TH Lam, the leading researcher of this study concluded that of every 4 smokers who started smoking in their adolescence, 1 dies in middle age and the other dies in their older age. This study reveals that of every 3 elderly smokers, 1 will be killed by smoking-induced diseases, it further confirms the accuracy of the above mentioned argument in previous studies. He added that the earlier and longer the quitting, the more reduction in mortality risk. Some elderly smokers died after they quit smoking probably because they quitted smoking too late or quitted after having serious diseases. Hence smokers, regardless of their age, should quit smoking immediately to reduce mortality and improve survival as soon as possible. Raise tobacco tax can encourage smokers to cease smoking and ultimately gain better health.

Mr Lo and Mr Cheung, both of them are ex-smokers and winners of COSH Quit-to-Win Smoking Cessation Contests, shared their reasons and experience of quitting smoking at the Press Conference.Mr Lo and Mr Cheung, both of them are ex-smokers and winners of COSH Quit-to-Win Smoking Cessation Contests, shared their reasons and experience of quitting smoking at the Press Conference.

Source: The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
 
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