Passive smoking increases women's breast cancer risk

Women exposed to passive smoking have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a study suggests.

Second-hand smoke raises risk of breast cancer by up to a third (Photograph: SPL)
Second-hand smoke raises risk of breast cancer by up to a third (Photograph: SPL)

The research, published in the BMJ, found women exposed to second-hand smoke over decades raised their risk of breast cancer in later life by up to a third, even though they had never smoked.

Researchers, led by Dr Juhua Luo of West Virginia University, examined data from 80,000 women aged 50-79.

Current smokers were 16 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than non-smokers. Former smokers were 9 per cent more likely. Women heavily exposed to passive smoke over 30 years or more were 32 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than those never exposed to passive smoke.

But the effect was not dose- dependent among women exposed to less passive smoking and the researchers called for research to confirm the effect.

They said: 'Our findings highlight the need for interventions to prevent initiation of smoking, especially at an early age, and to encourage smoking cessation at all ages.'

Stephen Robinson

GP Online recommends

BMJ Online 2011

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

COVID-19 vaccination programme widens to over-70s and clinically vulnerable

COVID-19 vaccination programme widens to over-70s and clinically vulnerable

People aged over 70 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be offered...

Hoarse voice - red flag symptoms

Hoarse voice - red flag symptoms

Dr Suneeta Kochhar provides an overview into the red flag symptoms to look for in...

Epistaxis - red flag symptoms

Epistaxis - red flag symptoms

Dr Suneeta Kochhar provides an overview of red flag symptoms to look for in a patient...

Former Brexit secretary backs vitamin D supplements to beat COVID-19

Former Brexit secretary backs vitamin D supplements to beat COVID-19

The NHS should provide 10 times the current daily recommended amount of vitamin D...

Identifying patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse in general practice

Identifying patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse in general practice

Dr Vasumathy Sivarajasingam describes a pilot project in her practice that used a...