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Smoking and Deaths between 40 and 70 Years of Age in Women and Men

Stein Emil Vollset, MD, DrPH; Aage Tverdal, PhD; and Håkon K. Gjessing, PhD
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From the University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.


Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the staff of the National Mass Radiography Service, who initiated the Norwegian Counties Studies in 1974 and continued data collection on cardiovascular risk factors in all Norwegian counties over the following decades. The authors also thank Hilde-Gunn Bruu for programming assistance.

Grant Support: None.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Stein Emil Vollset, MD, DrPH, Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Kalfarveien 31, N-5018 Bergen, Norway.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Vollset: Section for Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Kalfarveien 31, N-5018 Bergen, Norway.

Drs. Tverdal and Gjessing: Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norway.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal, H.K. Gjessing.

Drafting of the article: S.E. Vollset.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal, H.K. Gjessing.

Final approval of the article: S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal, H.K. Gjessing.

Provision of study materials or patients: A. Tverdal.

Statistical expertise: S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal, H.K. Gjessing.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: S.E. Vollset.

Collection and assembly of data: A. Tverdal.


Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(6):381-389. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-6-200603210-00004
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Table 1 shows the baseline characteristics of the participating men and women who were 35 to 49 years of age at the first health screening examination. Marital status, physical activity, and educational level differed between men and women and among the smoking categories.

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smoking ; women

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Figure 1.
Survival from 40 to 70 years of age in women and men by smoking habit.leftright

Kaplan–Meier survival curves show the percentage of women ( ) and men ( ) who are alive in the age range of 40 years to 70 years by smoking habit. The curves are based on 2333 deaths in middle age among the 24  505 women and 4680 deaths among the 25  034 men during follow-up from 1974–1978 to 2000. We have shown a separate survival curve for men who reported smoking ≥25 cigarettes/d. These men are also included in the ≥20 cigarettes/d group.

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Figure 2.
Probability of death between 40 and 70 years by age when smoking began.leftmiddleright

For each of 3 groups of smokers (1 to 9 cigarettes per day [ ], 10 to 19 cigarettes per day [ ], and ≥20 cigarettes per day [ ]), the graphs show the percentage of women and men who die in middle age as a function of age when smoking began. The curves extend from the 20th to the 80th percentile of age when smoking began, with the median depicted with a vertical line.

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Summary for Patients

The Relationship of Smoking Behavior and Death in Persons 40 to 70 Years of Age

The summary below is from the full report titled “Smoking and Deaths between 40 and 70 Years of Age in Women and Men.” It is in the 21 March 2006 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 144, pages 381-389). The authors are S.E. Vollset, A. Tverdal, and H.K. Gjessing.

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