Evaluation of Age and Smoking Habit by Verbal Autopsy


1 Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center,

2 Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center

3 Department of Internal Medicine

4 Department of Cardiology, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University M.C., TEHRAN-IRAN.


Background: Cigarette smoking is the first preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the world and can result in various diseases, disability and death. International studies have reported that about half of the smoking-related deaths occur in the middle ages. We decided to assess the age of death among smokers and non-smokers in this study. Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Tehran Behesht-e-Zahra Cemetery between September 2005 and March 2006. To estimate the sample size, a pilot study was performed on 112 deaths in March 2005 and based on the results; the sample size was estimated to be 2500. Five days of each month were selected randomly. On these days a physician (co-author) visited the Cemetery office and collected the data with the help of office operator. Information was obtained from first-degree relatives of the deceased after obtaining consent. The under-study variables were age at the time of death and cigarette use. Data were analyzed by SPSS software version 11 and using ANOVA test. Results: A total of 7858 cases were studied out of which 57.3% were males. There were 63.1% (4960) non-smokers, 25.1% (1971) smokers and 11.8% (927) ex-smokers. The mean age of death among total under-study population was 56.8 yrs (55.1 yrs in males and 57.6 yrs in females). The mean age of death was 57.9 yrs among non-smokers, 50.1 yrs among smokers and 56.8 yrs among ex-smokers (p=0.00). Conclusion: Results showed that age of death was lower among smokers but we could not determine a direct correlation between cigarette smoking and death in these patients. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(4): 44-48)