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J Epidemiol. 2011;21(5):376-84. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20110001. Epub 2011 Jul 9.

Effects of smoking and smoking cessation on life expectancy in an elderly population in Beijing, China, 1992-2000: an 8-year follow-up study.

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Department of Epidemiology & Social Medicine, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



We assessed the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on life expectancy and active life expectancy among persons aged 55 years or older in Beijing.


This study included 1593 men and 1664 women who participated in the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging, which commenced in 1992 and had 4 survey waves up to year 2000. An abridged life table was used to estimate life expectancy, in which age-specific mortality and age-specific disability rates were adjusted by using a discrete-time hazard model to control confounders.


The mean ages (SD) for men and women were 70.1 (9.25) and 70.2 (8.72) years, respectively; mortality and disability rates during follow-up were 34.7% and 8.0%, respectively. In both sexes, never smokers had the highest life expectancy and active life expectancy across ages, as compared with current and former smokers. Current heavy smokers had a shorter life expectancy and a shorter active life expectancy than light smokers. Among former smokers, male long-term quitters had a longer life expectancy and longer active life expectancy than short-term quitters, but this was not the case in women.


Older adults remain at higher risk of mortality and morbidity from smoking and can expect to live a longer and healthier life after smoking cessation.

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