Risk of male lung cancer attributed to coal combustion indoors in Shanghai

X. Tao, C. J. Hong, S. Yu, H. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is now the leading cause of death among all male cancers in Shanghai. Besides the smoking habit, the indoor air pollution from coal combustion may also make some contribution. The purpose of our study is to explore the risk of lung cancer death in male residents who live in coal-using families. Stratified by two extreme levels of ambient sulphur dioxide (SO2) and inhalable particulate (IP) concentrations, 4 areas were chosen in the city proper: Area A (low SO2, low IP); Area B (high SO2, low IP); Area C (low SO2, high IP) and Area D (high SO2, high IP). Within each of these areas, two neighboring residential groups were chosen, one of which uses coal as fuel (group 1), with the other using coal gas or liquified petroleum gas as fuel (group 0). The percentages of smokers and the ambient environment of the two chosen groups within each area are comparable. Total person-years observed is 117,039 from 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1987 for all males in the 8 groups. The mortalities (per 100,000 person years) of male lung cancer in the 8 groups are as follows: A0-22.33, A1-37.64; B0-27.14, B1-30.72; C0-41.77, C1-54.99; D0-49.97, D1-78.11. The result shows that male lung cancer mortality in the coal-using group is higher than that in the coal-gas-using group within each area. Mantel-Haenszel's Relative Risk (RRMH) of male lung cancer in coal-using groups is 1.44 stratified by ambient SO2 and IP and smoking levels. Attributable Risk Percent (AR%) to coal-using is 30.40%, and Population Attributable Risk Percent (PAR%) is 17.92%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • indoor coal combustion
  • male lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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