China's smog kills at least 350,000 a year

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Lingering smog in north China's Hebei Province prompts a rise in numbers of people visiting hospital in January 2013. [Photo/CNS]

About 350,000 to 500,000 people die prematurely each year in China due to exposure to outdoor air pollution, according to an article co-written by a former health minister.

Chen Zhu, now president of Chinese Medical Association and academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and three other authors, published an article, titled "China tackles the health effects of air pollution", in The Lancet, the world's leading general medical journal, on Dec. 14, 2013. The team gave its estimation in the article.

The number is far lower than another figure of 1.2 million given in the "Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010)" published in the same magazine last year.

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