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In Cuba, a quarter of men and a sixth of women die between ages 35 to 69, mainly from vascular, cancer and respiratory causes. Studies of the main causes of these chronic diseases in middle age (obesity, blood pressure, alcohol and, particularly, tobacco) are needed.

The Cuba Prospective Study recruited 140,000 adults aged 30 to 90 years between 1996-2002 from 4 provinces.

All participants are now being tracked for cause-specific mortality through linkage to Cuban national mortality databases.

  • At the baseline survey:
    • About one-half of the men and one-quarter of the women had ever smoked cigarettes
    • Smoking prevalence peaked among both men and women born in the 1950s
    • Substantial numbers of smokers started young (before age 10)
  • By December 2014, >17 000 were confirmed to have died
  • Preliminary analyses show:
    • The risks of smoking (compared to never smoking) are lower in Cuba than in US/UK studies for COPD, lung cancer, upper aero-digestive cancer and vascular disease. The reasons for this are unclear and require further investigation.
    • Smoking a greater number of cigarettes per day and starting to smoke at a younger age is associated with substantially greater risks of death.
    • Risks diminishes >5 years after stopping smoking and giving up before age 45 avoids most of the risk.

Data cleaning is complete and mortality follow-up is ongoing with prospective analyses planned of smoking, drinking, adiposity and cause-specific mortality

The Cuba Prospective Study is funded through core funding to the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) from the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Data Access and Sharing

The Cuba Prospective Study is a collaboration between CTSU and the Institute of Cardiology in Havana. Specific proposals for future collaboration or specific analyses, addressed to the study's Cuba-based or Oxford-based investigators, are welcomed. Any requests for the sharing of data will be considered according to the principles set out in NDPH’s data sharing policy

Our team

  • Ben Lacey
    Ben Lacey

    Senior Clinical Research Fellow

  • Sarah Lewington
    Sarah Lewington

    Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Director of Graduate Studies (Taught courses)

  • Richard Peto
    Richard Peto

    Emeritus Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Related research themes