New study alerts wives who are subjected to second hand smoke.
Sounding a warning over the dangers of passive smoking, a large-scale government study has found that women whose husbands smoke at home have twice the risk of developing a specific type of lung cancer compared with those married to nonsmokers.
The research team of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry that carried out the study, whose results were announced Wednesday, also said that about 40 percent of nonsmoking female cancer patients might not have contracted the disease if they had not been exposed to cigarette smoke at home.
The lung cancer in question, adenocarcinoma, is one type of non-small cell lung cancer that often develops along the outer edges of the lung and under the membranes lining the bronchi. It is the most frequently found type of lung cancer, cases of which have been increasing in the country. Those who have developed the cancer account for 70 percent of female lung cancer patients and 40 percent of male lung cancer patients.
The study was conducted on about 28,000 nonsmoking women who were aged between 40 and 69 over about 13 years from the early 1990s. The research team focused on 82 women who were diagnosed as having developed adenocarcinoma of the lung during the period, examining the relationship between the disease and their husbands’ lifestyle, such as smoking habits.
The team’s study showed that those whose husbands smoke at home have twice the risk of developing the cancer than those with nonsmoking spouses. The risk was 1.5 times greater for those whose husbands had smoked in the past.
The research also found that women whose husband daily smoke a larger number of cigarettes have a higher risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the lung. Women whose husbands smoke fewer than 20 cigarettes a day are 1.7 times more likely to develop the cancer than those married to nonsmoking men. But the figure went up to 2.2 times for women whose husbands smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day.
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun