I got interested in the geographical prevalence of smoking, lung cancer, and rainfall. I found that tradingeconomics had figures for the percentage prevalence of smoking among men and women for most countries in the world. And I also found a handy interactive map that provided lung cancer incidence and mortality for men and women at Globocan. Next thing I was building tables.
Reproduced below is the lung cancer incidence map. Click on it to visit the source interactive map. Beneath that is a table showing the figures for a few selected countries. I may try and add annual rainfall too.
|Country||% m||% f||LCI m||LCI f|
|Country||% m||% f||LCI||–|
The table at right shows country, percentage prevalence of male (m) and female (f) smoking in 2006, and age-adjusted lung cancer incidence per 100,000 for male (m), and female (f) in 2008. Almost all countries in Europe are present – except Macedonia and Montenegro – and they’re arranged roughly geographically west to east. The remaining countries are a selection from around the world, ending up with the anglo-saxon countries. (Note: these tables have been transcribed by hand, and errors may have crept into them. Treat with caution!)
In Europe, Sweden has the lowest prevalence of male smoking, and also the lowest incidence of lung cancer. Greece has the highest prevalence of male smoking, but doesn’t have the highest incidence of male lung cancer. That honour goes to Hungary, where there are slightly fewer smokers than in neighbouring Austria.
Russia wins the prize for having the highest prevalence of male smoking, but it doesn’t have the highest incidence of lung cancer.
China is another hard-smoking country, not too far behind Russia, but it has male lung cancer incidence less than the USA, where less than half as many men smoke.
There is a higher prevalence of male smokers in India than in the USA, but only a fifth as much lung cancer.
There is a higher prevalence of smokers in the Yemen than in the USA, but the USA has 14 times as much lung cancer.
Why do so many Danish women get more lung cancer than anybody else?
Sweden and Poland are noteworthy for having more women smokers than men.
There are 10 times as many Greek women smokers as there are Chinese women smokers, but the Chinese women get almost 3 times as much lung cancer. I’ve heard the high incidence of lung cancer among Chinese women being explained by the fact that they cook indoors on open fires. Are they the only women in the world who do that? I bet there are plenty of women who cook on open fires in India and Africa. And anyway, if the smoke from cooking fires is causing their lung cancer, doesn’t that mean that it isn’t just smoking tobacco that causes it?
Finland is planning to make smoking illegal. Yet a third of Finnish men are smokers. That should be interesting to watch.
At some point I’ll see if I can plot a scatter diagram of smoking against lung cancer to see if there’s any obvious trend. I’m not optimistic, given that the two countries with the highest prevalence of smoking – Russia and Greece – aren’t the two countries with the highest incidence of lung cancer – Hungary and Poland -.
I may edit this post to add other countries. Would anyone like a particular country?
P.S. I’ve just hand-drawn a couple of scatter charts for the data, and scanned them.
I’ve also drawn lines from the origin to produce the highest and lowest slopes through the charts. This shows, for men, increased lung cancer incidence per percentage increase in smoker prevalence ranging from 2.33 to 0.13.
P.P.S. I found another source of smoking prevalence stats at nationmanster which seems to give much higher figures than the tradingeconomics ones I’ve used above. Instead of 28% prevalence of male smoking in Yemen, it gives 77% prevalence. And according to Globocan there’s only 3.5 lung cancers per 100,000 among Yemeni males. I wonder how they explain that away?
There was a 82% prevalence of smoking in Afghanistan in 1990, yet only 9.5 lung cancer incidence per 100,000 in 2008.