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Second-hand smoke and cervical cancer

Exposure to second-hand smoke appears to increase the risk of cervical cancer, although to a lesser extent than active smoking.

Second-hand smoke and cervical cancer

Exposure to second-hand smoke appears to increase the risk of cervical cancer, though to a lesser extent than active smoking. Studies of cross-sections of different populations have supported the link to passive smoking, but there has been a lack of evidence from forward-looking studies that follow people over a period of time to see who develops cervical cancer. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, conducted a study involving nearly 25,000 women who were surveyed about household smoking in 1963 and over 26,000 who were surveyed in 1975. Cancer registry data were analysed to determine the occurrence of cervical cancer in the two groups up to 15 years after they were surveyed. It was found that exposure to passive smoking increased the risk of cervical cancer by 2.1 fold in the 1963 group and 1.4 fold in the 1975 group. The corresponding increases in risk for women who actively smoked were 2.6 and 1.7 fold. The researchers concluded that there was really no reason why passive smoking shouldn't be associated with cervical cancer if active smoking is.
Obstetrics and Gynecology,
January 2005
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