Tobacco Chewing and Adult Mortality: a Case-control Analysis of 22,000 Cases and 429,000 Controls, Never Smoking Tobacco and Never Drinking Alcohol, in South India
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Tobacco is consumed in both smoking and smokeless forms in India. About 35-40% of tobacco consumption in India is in the latter. The study objective was to describe the association between chewing tobacco and adult mortality. Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted in urban (Chennai city) and rural (Villupuram district) areas in Tamil Nadu state in South India. Interviewed in 1998-2000 about 80,000 families (48,000 urban and 32,000 rural) with members who had died during
... d died during 1995-1998. These were the cases and their probable underlying cause of death was arrived at by verbal autopsy. Controls were 600,000 (500,000 urban, 100,000 rural) individuals from a survey conducted during 1998-2001 in the same two study areas from where cases were included. Results: Mortality analyses were restricted to non-smoking non-drinkers aged 35-69. The age, sex, education and study area adjusted mortality odds ratio was 30% higher (RR:1.3, 95%CI:1.2-1.4) in ever tobacco chewers compared to never chewers and was significant for deaths from respiratory diseases combined (RR:1.5, 95%CI:1.4-1.7) , respiratory tuberculosis (RR:1.7, 95%CI:1.5-1.9), cancers all sites combined (RR:1.5, 95%CI:1.4-1.7) and stroke (RR:1.4, 95%CI:1.2-1.6) . Of the cancers, the adjusted mortality odds ratio was significant for upper aero-digestive, stomach and cervical cancers. Chewing tobacco caused 7.1% of deaths from all medical causes. Conclusions: The present study is the first large study in India analysing non-smoking non-drinkers. Statistically significant excess risks were found among ever tobacco chewers for respiratory diseases combined, respiratory tuberculosis, stroke and cancer (all sites combined) compared to never tobacco chewers.