Background: Although cigarette smoking is an established risk factor for bladder cancer, assessment of smoking impact on bladder cancer in Asian populations has been hindered by few cohort studies conducted in Asian populations. Therefore, we investigated the risk of bladder cancer associated with smoking status, cumulative smoking intensity, and smoking cessation in Japan.
Methods: We analyzed data for 157,295 men and 183,202 women in 10 population-based cohort studies in Japan. The risk associated with smoking behaviors was estimated using Cox regression models within each study, and pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the incidence of bladder cancer were calculated.
Results: During 4,729,073 person-years of follow-up, 936 men and 325 women developed bladder cancer. In men, former smokers (HR 1.47; 95% CI, 1.18–1.82) and current smokers (HR 1.96; 95% CI, 1.62–2.38) had higher risk than never smokers. In women, current smokers had higher risk than never smokers (HR 2.35; 95% CI, 1.67–3.32). HRs in men linearly increased with increasing pack-years. Risk decreased with increasing years of smoking cessation in men, with a significant dose-response trend. Former smokers with a duration of more than 10 years after smoking cessation had no significantly increased risk compared with never smokers (HR 1.26; 95% CI, 0.97–1.63).
Conclusion: Data from a pooled analysis of 10 population-based cohort studies in Japan clearly show an association between cigarette smoking and bladder cancer risk. The risk of smokers may approximate that of never smokers following cessation for many years.