Smoking and risk of tuberculosis incidence, mortality, and recurrence in South Korean men and women

Sun Ha Jee, Jonathan E. Golub, Jaeseong Jo, Il Su Park, Heechoul Ohrr, Jonathan M. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors explored the association of cigarette smoking with tuberculosis incidence, recurrence, and mortality. A 14-year prospective cohort study (1992-2006) was carried out in 1,294,504 South Koreans. Participants were grouped by smoking history, and the authors assessed tuberculosis incidence, mortality, and recurrence risk for each group. Unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate the association between smoking history and the 3 outcomes of interest, adjusting for age and alcohol use. Compared with never smokers, current smokers had increased mortality from tuberculosis among both men (adjusted hazard ratio (HR)=1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3, 2.0) and women (HR=1.6, 95% CI: 1.0, 2.4). Current male smokers had greater risk of incident tuberculosis than former smokers (HR=1.4, 95% CI: 1.3, 1.5), and risk among current smokers increased with number of cigarettes smoked daily. In females, cigarette smoking was not associated with incident tuberculosis. There was interaction between smoking and sex for incidence (P =0.00047). The effect of smoking was generally reduced with adjustment for body mass index. Among men, the highest alcohol consumption category (≥100 g/day) was associated with risk of incident tuberculosis (HR=1.5, 95% CI: 1.3, 1.7). This study provides longitudinal evidence that smoking increases risk of incident tuberculosis, mortality from tuberculosis, and tuberculosis recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1485
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Recurrence
  • Smoking
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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