Women in smoke-free homes and workplaces are less likely to develop or die from breast cancer, new research shows.
U.S. researchers compared rates of non-smoking homes and workplaces with state-specific rates of breast cancer incidence and death. States with higher numbers of smoke-free homes and workplaces had significantly fewer breast cancer deaths, particularly among younger premenopausal women.
Researchers estimate that about 20 percent of the change in breast-cancer death rates is due to changes in smoke-free home and workplace policies.
Research letter: Prevalence of rules prohibiting home and workplace smoking correlates with state-specific breast cancer outcomes: an ecologic analysis. Kenneth M Piazza (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrew Hyland, Research Letter..
The study by researchers in the department of health behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., was released online March 12 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Tobacco Control.
"While the evidence for secondhand smoke and breast cancer risk remains controversial, this study demonstrates a very strong inverse correlation. States with higher percentages of women working and living in smoke-free spaces have lower breast cancer rates," study author Andrew Hyland said in an institute news release.
Reference: Smoke-Free Environments Linked to Less Breast Cancer States with more workplace bans, non-smoking homes have fewer cases of the disease: study, Health Day News, 3/18/2011.