Smoking habits in the Glostrup population of men and women, born in 1914. Implications for health, evaluated from ten-year mortality, Incidence of cardiovascular manifestations and pulmonary function, 1964--1974.
Of a total population of 514 men and 461 women, born in 1914, from seven municipalities in Copenhagen County, 87% were examined in 1964 and 1974. Smoking habits (inhalation, kind of tobacco, amount, duration of smoking and changes over a decade) have been described in this age-specific, general population. The health implications were examined. Tobacco consumption was in this population the most important risk factor for overall mortality, cardiovascular manifestations, peripheral arterial disease, decline in pulmonary function and symptoms of ulcer. The results are consistent with other prospective epidemiological studies. The relative risk of death, of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular manifestations, and of decline in pulmonary function increased gradually with the amount of tobacco smoked. Inhalation roughly doubled the risk. The excess risk for pipe/cheroot smokers was less than that for cigarette smokers. Ex-smokers reduced their risk about 50%. The risk associated with smoking was independent of other factors. The excess risk attributable to smoking was as great in women as in men, but the community problem of smoking-related diseases was most pronounced in men, among whom smoking habits are more widespread and morbidity is higher. The results from the 1914 population study suggest that almost one third of all deaths and heart attacks in middle-aged Danes might be avoided, if all 50-year-olds would have given up smoking.