Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and tuberculosis are three leading causes of death in China, where prevalences of smoking and solid-fuel use are also high. We aimed to predict the effects of risk-factor trends on COPD, lung cancer, and tuberculosis.
Methods: We used representative data sources to estimate past trends in smoking and household solid-fuel use and to construct a range of future scenarios. We obtained the aetiological effects of risk factors on diseases from meta-analyses of epidemiological studies and from large studies in China. We modelled future COPD and lung cancer mortality and tuberculosis incidence, taking into account the accumulation of hazardous effects of risk factors on COPD and lung cancer over time, and dependency of the risk of tuberculosis infection on the prevalence of disease. We quantified the sensitivity of our results to methods and data choices.
Findings: If smoking and solid-fuel use remain at current levels between 2003 and 2033, 65 million deaths from COPD and 18 million deaths from lung cancer are predicted in China; 82% of COPD deaths and 75% of lung cancer deaths will be attributable to the combined effects of smoking and solid-fuel use. Complete gradual cessation of smoking and solid-fuel use by 2033 could avoid 26 million deaths from COPD and 6.3 million deaths from lung cancer; interventions of intermediate magnitude would reduce deaths by 6-31% (COPD) and 8-26% (lung cancer). Complete cessation of smoking and solid-fuel use by 2033 would reduce the projected annual tuberculosis incidence in 2033 by 14-52% if 80% DOTS coverage is sustained, 27-62% if 50% coverage is sustained, or 33-71% if 20% coverage is sustained.
Interpretation: Reducing smoking and solid-fuel use can substantially lower predictions of COPD and lung cancer burden and would contribute to effective tuberculosis control in China.