Published: 2019-05-24 14:50 | Updated: 2019-05-28 13:37

World No Tobacco Day: important research at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics

On May 31 the WHO celebrates the World No Tobacco Day. At at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics (MEB), researchers have during the last year published some 40 papers on tobacco and health. Here we present a selection of papers.

In a paper by Annals of Neurology, Zhan and Fang, examined smoking and risk of ALS. Using so called mendelian randomisation in more than 12000 patients with ALS and 23000 controls, they found a positive association between smoking and ALS development.

Smoking and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A mendelian randomization study.

Zhan Y, Fang F
Ann. Neurol. 2019 Apr;85(4):482-484

Through the Swedish Twin Register, maintained at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, researchers explored the role of smoking, and snuff for type 2 diabetes risk. While smokers were at a 70% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, the excess risk was 20% among snuggling users. The researchers believe that genetic mechanisms contribute to chance of becoming a smoker or snuff user. 

Tobacco and type 2 diabetes: is the association explained by genetic factors?
Carlsson S, Kuja-Halkola R, Magnusson C, Lagerros YT, Andersson T
Int J Epidemiol 2019 Feb;():

In a collaboration with Örebro University, MEB researchers studied over 9000 men with questionnaire data from conscription. These data found that low stress tolerance in young conscripts was associated with an increased risk of becoming a smoker. 

Low stress resilience in late adolescence and risk of smoking, high alcohol consumption and drug use later in life.

Kennedy B, Chen R, Fang F, Valdimarsdottir U, Montgomery S, Larsson H, et al
J Epidemiol Community Health 2019 Jun;73(6):496-501

Passive smoking has previously been linked to respiratory infections in children. Through the Multigeneral Register, Molero, Ludvigsson and colleagues examined if medical smoking cessation through varenicline in parents would impact on hospital admission rates for obstructive bronchitis including respiratory syncytial (RS) virus disease. Children to parents treated with varenicline were at a 33% lower risk of needing hospital admission for obstructive bronchitis,. The study is important since it identifies a new means to prevent severe infections in small children. 

Parental nicotine replacement therapy and offspring bronchitis/bronchiolitis and asthma - a nationwide population-based cohort study.
Molero Y, Zetterqvist J, Lichtenstein P, Almqvist C, Ludvigsson JF
Clin Epidemiol 2018 ;10():1339-1347

In a statistical study by Andersson and colleagues, data from several Nordic countries were combined. This study found that if all smoking stopped, some 430 000 cases of cancer could be prevented in the Nordic countries up until year 2048. But also a smaller decrease in smoking prevalence would prevent a large number of cancers. 

Tackling the tobacco epidemic in the Nordic countries and lower cancer incidence by 1/5 in a 30-year period-The effect of envisaged scenarios changing smoking prevalence.

Andersson TM, Engholm G, Brink AL, Pukkala E, Stenbeck M, Tryggvadottir L, et al
Eur. J. Cancer 2018 11;103():288-298.

For more information about smoking and disease, please contact professor and pediatrician Jonas F Ludvigsson.

Additional information in Swedish: 

https://www.dagensmedicin.se/artiklar/2015/03/23/svenska-barnlakare-tar-stallning-for-ett-tobaksfritt-sverige/

https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/orebro/barnlakaren-forklarar-darfor-ar-det-ett-problem-att-unga-roker