Deaths from ischaemic stroke due to tobacco use highest in China, India and Russia

Washington: A new report suggests that deaths from ischaemic stroke (IS) due to tobacco use in China, India, and Russia together are higher than the total for all the world's other countries combined.

The research is by Dr Derrick Bennett, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues.

The research looks at the results relating to IS in the global burden of disease (GBD) study published in 2012, but also provides additional analysis on the effects of tobacco consumption, an important modifiable risk factor for IS.

In both 1990 and 2010, the top ranked countries for IS deaths that could be attributed to tobacco consumption were China, Russia, and India.

"Tobacco control policies that target both smoking initiation and smoking cessation can play an important role in the prevention of IS. In China, Russia, and India, even modest reductions in the number of current smokers could see millions of lives saved due to prevention of IS alone," Dr Bennett said.

Of all the deaths from IS attributed to tobacco consumption in 187 countries included in the GBD 2010 study, in 1990, China accounted for 26 percent, Russia for 10 percent, India for 7 percent, the United States for 5 percent, and Japan for 4 percent.

In 2010, the countries with the most IS deaths attributable to tobacco were China (29 percent, 155,332 deaths), Russia (12 percent, 62 110 deaths), India (11 percent, 56 670 deaths), while all other countries saw 48.5 percent of all IS deaths due to smoking (258 084), see figure 2 of full paper).

"Worryingly, the estimated IS deaths attributable to tobacco consumption in China, Russia, and India had increased in the 20-year period. Even though the United States and Japan had improved between 1990 and 2010, they were still ranked sixth and fifth in 2010, with 2.6 percent and 3.4 percent of all IS deaths attributable to tobacco consumption," Dr Bennett added.

The findings are published in Global Heart (the journal of the World Heart Federation).