Passive smoking and cervical cancer risk: a meta-analysis based on 3,230 cases and 2,982 controls

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(6):2687-93. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2012.13.6.2687.


Objective: Passive smoking has been considered as a risk factor of many cancers. To examine whether it might also pose a risk for cervical cancer, we performed a meta-analysis based on published case-control studies.

Methods: We searched the PubMed database and references of included studies up to February 10th, 2012 for relevant studies. After two authors independently assessed the methodological quality and extracted data, a meta-analysis was conducted using CMA v2 software. Publication bias was evaluated by funnel plot, using Egger's and Begg's tests.

Results: Finally 11 eligible studies yielded, involving 3,230 cases and 2,982 controls. The results showed that women who never smoke but exposed to smoking experience a 73% increase in risk of cervical cancer compared with non-exposed women (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.35 - 2.21, p<0.001). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses indicated this result to be robust. Moderate publication bias was detected by visualing funnel plot, Egger's and Begg's tests.

Conclusion: Based on currently available evidence, the findings of this meta-analysis suggests that passive smoking significantly and independently increases the risk of cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution