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Model Projects Smoking Will Up TB Cases, Deaths by 2050

However, aggressive tobacco control may avert 27 million smoking-attributable deaths by 2050

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Assuming that current smoking trends will continue, it is estimated that tobacco smoking will cause 18 million tuberculosis cases and 40 million deaths from tuberculosis worldwide from 2010 to 2050, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in BMJ.

Sanjay Basu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues estimated the impact of future smoking trends on tuberculosis control by developing a state transition, compartmental, and mathematical model of tuberculosis epidemics. The model projected future tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality from 2010 to 2050 in each World Health Organization region.

The investigators found that, if smoking trends continue along the current trajectories, smoking would cause an estimated 18 million cases of tuberculosis and an estimated 40 million deaths from tuberculosis from 2010 to 2050. Model predictions that account for smoking predict a 7 percent increase in the number of tuberculosis cases (274 versus 256 million) and a 66 percent increase in the number of deaths (101 versus 61 million), as compared to models that do not account for smoking. The millennium development goal target to reduce tuberculosis mortality by half from 1990 to 2015 is expected to be delayed due to smoking. The model projects that implementation of aggressive tobacco control would prevent 27 million smoking-attributable deaths from tuberculosis by 2050. Estimates from the model suggest an additional 34 million deaths from tuberculosis by 2050 if the prevalence of smoking increases to 50 percent of adults.

"Tobacco smoking could substantially increase tuberculosis cases and deaths worldwide in coming years, undermining progress toward tuberculosis mortality targets," the authors write.

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