- Our online table of contents is updated at least twice each day. Read all articles published in the last 7 days.
- You can use bmj.com to help you with your continuing medical education. Find out about CME/CPD credits for BMJ articles
- Keep up to date with cardiology: Access the latest cardiovascular medicine resources from across BMJ Group.
- OPEN ACCESS: All research articles are freely available online, with no word limit. Find out more about the BMJ's open access policy. Submit your paper.
- Find out how study types differ in our How to read a paper section.
- Impact factor latest: The BMJ's impact factor is now 17.215. Submit your paper to the world's fourth most cited general medical journal.
Recent rapid responses
Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included as edited readers' letters in the weekly print issue of the BMJ, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window.
Displaying 1-1 out of 1 published
3 September 2012
Domestic use of coal for cooking and heating is common in many developing countries. This study from China highlights an increased lifetime risk of developing lung cancer following exposure to domestic coal.
In view of its widespread use around the world, this represents a potential health hazard. The relationship between domestic use of coal and lung cancer is poorly understood.
The researchers compared deaths from lung cancer between lifelong users of “smoky coal” and “smokeless coal” for household cooking and heating in Xuanwei County, Yunnan Province, China, where lung cancer rates are particularly elevated.
In my opinion there are grounds to question how representative was a sample focused only in a particular region of China?
Another weakness to acknowledge in my opinion is the inability to control other confounders (family history of cancer with genetic predisposition). Various degree of carcinogenicity make it even difficult to ascertain the extent of the exposure among the two groups.
The long period of follow up is an important strength of this study.
Nevertheless as mentioned by the Authors, the findings have important implications for public health. It is also important to highlight that additional research is needed on the carcinogenicity of various types of coal.
Competing interests: None declared
Hwel Dda Health Board, prince phlip hospital SA14 8QF
Click to like: