Washington: Smoking could cause 40 million excess deaths among smokers, who also suffer from tuberculosis (TB), by 2050, new research says.
Once smokers develop the disease, they are more likely to die from it, meaning that smoking can single-handedly undermine the goal to reduce TB mortality by half between 1990 and 2015, says the research.
The study, led by Sanjay Basu from the University of California, San Francisco, used a maths model to determine the effect of smoking on future TB rates, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) reports.
It shows that from 2010 to 2050 smoking could lead to 40 million excess TB deaths worldwide - from 61 to 101 million.
They also conclude that if current smoking trends continue, the number of excess TB cases could rise from 256 to 274 million - 18 million new cases in total.
"Aggressively lowering the prevalence of tobacco smoking could reduce smoking attributable deaths from tuberculosis by 27 million by 2050," Basu said, according to a California statement.
Nearly one-fifth of the world`s population smokes and that most cigarettes are smoked in countries with high TB prevalence. Given this, the authors wanted to predict how much impact smoking will have on future TB rates.
Researchers found that smoking may have a substantial impact on future TB rates because a moderate increase in individual risk translates into a large population-level risk.