Objective The goal of this study was to assess the healthcare costs attributable to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among non-smoking adults (age ≥19) in rural China.
Methods We analysed data from the 2011 National Rural Household Survey which was conducted among adults in five provinces and one municipality in China (N=12 397). Respondents reported their smoking status, health conditions and healthcare expenditures. Relative risks were obtained from published sources. Healthcare costs included annual outpatient and inpatient hospitalisation expenditures for five SHS-related diseases: asthma, breast cancer (female only), heart disease, lung cancer and tuberculosis. SHS-attributable healthcare costs were estimated using a prevalence-based annual cost approach.
Findings The total healthcare costs of SHS exposure in rural China amounted to $1.2 billion in 2011, including $559 million for outpatient visits and $612.4 million for inpatient hospitalisations. The healthcare costs for women and men were $877.1 million and $294.3 million, respectively. Heart disease was the most costly condition for both women ($701.7 million) and men ($180.6 million). The total healthcare costs of SHS exposure in rural China accounted to 0.3% of China's national healthcare expenditures in 2011. Over one-fifth of the total healthcare costs of SHS exposure in rural China were paid by health insurance. The out-of-pocket expenditures per person accounted for almost half (47%) of their daily income.
Conclusions The adverse health effects of SHS exposure result in a large economic burden in China. Tobacco control policies that reduce SHS exposure could have an impact on reducing healthcare costs in China.
- Global health
- Low/Middle income country
- Public policy
- Secondhand smoke
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.