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

Publication Type:

Journal Article


American journal of epidemiology, p.1-9 (2017)


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.