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Am J Public Health. 1989 Feb;79(2):163-7.

Deaths from all causes in non-smokers who lived with smokers.

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Division of Biometry and Risk Assessment, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


Mortality associated with passive smoking was evaluated in a 12-year study of 27,891 White adult smokers and 19,035 never smokers identified in 1963. Death rates were calculated using an estimate of the person-years at risk. Adjusted for age, marital status, education, and quality of housing, the estimated relative risks of death from all causes were 1.17 (approximate 95% confidence interval 1.01, 1.36) for men and 1.15 (1.06, 1.24) for women with passive exposure. These relative risks were similar to those for ex-smokers and for pipe or cigar smokers. Risks increased slightly with level of exposure. The relative risk from passive smoking was greatest for men under age 50 (RR = 2.09, 1.31-3.34). Risks from passive smoking were slightly elevated for several causes among men and women, and may be broader than those previously reported. On the other hand, these small nonspecific increases in death rates may reflect other characteristics of passive smokers that increase mortality.

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