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York to lead new research into TB and tobacco

Posted on 26 October 2015

A new study led by University of York researchers will assess how the stress placed on healthcare systems around the world, by tobacco and TB, can be reduced.

In the new, four-year project funded by the European Commission, a team from the University’s Department of Health Sciences and Hull York Medical School (HYMS) will explore ways to integrate interventions to stop smoking into TB control programmes.

Dr Kamran Siddiqi, a senior lecturer in public health in the Department of Health Sciences at York and HYMS, has secured more than £2 million from the European Commission Horizon 2020 for the four-year project called “Tobacco cessation within TB programmes: A ‘real world’ solution for countries with dual burden of disease”.

The researchers will study ways of integrating inexpensive and proven stop smoking strategies into TB control programmes. The aim is to improve the health and long-term outcomes of patients suffering from TB and reduce the number of people who suffer from tobacco-related diseases.

The project will work in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan – all countries which have high incidences of both tobacco use and TB cases.

Dr Siddiqi, who will lead the project, said: “We hope that by studying the ‘real world’ influences on the implementation and success of tobacco cessation, we’ll be able to translate study findings into benefits for patients.

"TB patients who use tobacco are at risk of death. We are pleased to be able to investigate treatments that can help these patients quit tobacco use before it is too late. This is an extremely important study which we hope can be used to help people worldwide."

The project involves a consortium of eight organisations including ARK Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Health Research and Social Development Forum, Kathmandu, Nepal; National TB Programme, Islamabad, Pakistan; The Initiative, Islamabad, Pakistan; Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany; General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic and the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds.

The consortium will hold its first international meeting in York, 25 - 27 November 2015.

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