By: Diana Barnes-Brown for Uterus1
A study recently published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology has exposed a connection between secondhand smoke exposure and cervical cancer, also known as cervical neoplasia.
Scientists and health experts have already demonstrated the link between active smoking and certain types of cancer, including cervical cancer, so it seemed reasonable that passive – that is, secondhand – smoking might be similarly involved.
To test the hypothesis, a group of Johns Hopkins University doctors and researchers led by Dr. Anthony J Alberg conducted a study using the data of close to 25,000 women surveyed about household smoking in 1963, and more than 26,000 who were surveyed about the same in 1975. They then examined cancer registry data to find the rate of cervical cancer among the two groups for 15 years after the time of their surveys.
Alberg and his team then compared the rates of cervical cancer among those who were passive smokers and those who were not. They found that in the 1963 group, passive smokers’ rates of cervical cancer were 2.1 times that of those who were not exposed to secondhand smoke, and in the 1975 group, rates among passive smokers were 1.4 times that of those not exposed to secondhand smoke; corresponding rates for active smokers were 2.6 and 1.7 times that of non-exposed women.
Alberg and his team noted that “the results of this long-term … study corroborate the association between active cigarette smoking and [cervical cancer] and provide evidence that passive smoking is a risk factor,” adding to continually potent evidence about the dangers of secondhand smoke.