Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Apr 28:1-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx018. [Epub ahead of print]

Active and Passive Smoking and Risk of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: A Population-Based Case-Control Study in Southern China.

Chang ET, Liu Z, Hildesheim A, Liu Q, Cai Y, Zhang Z, Chen G, Xie SH, Cao SM, Shao JY, Jia WH, Zheng Y, Liao J, Chen Y, Lin L, Ernberg I, Vaughan TL, Adami HO, Huang G, Zeng Y, Zeng YX, Ye W.


The magnitude and patterns of associations between smoking and risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in high-incidence regions remain uncertain. Associations with active and passive tobacco smoking were estimated using multivariate logistic regression in a population-based case-control study of 2,530 NPC cases and 2,595 controls in Guangdong and Guangxi, southern China, in 2010-2014. Among men, risk of NPC was significantly higher in current smokers compared with never smokers (odds ratio (OR) = 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.14, 1.53) but not in former smokers (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.73, 1.17). Risk increased with smoking intensity (per 10 cigarettes/day, OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.16), smoking duration (per 10 years, OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.16), and cumulative smoking (per 10 pack-years, OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.12). Risk decreased with later age at smoking initiation (per year, OR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.96, 0.98) but not greater time since smoking cessation. Exposures to passive smoking during childhood (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.48) and from a spouse during adulthood (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.63) were independently associated with increased NPC risk in never-smoking men and women, but exposure-response trends were not observed. In conclusion, active and passive tobacco smoking are associated with modestly increased risk of NPC in southern China; risk is highest among long-term smokers.