History of Pulmonary Disease tied to a Higher Risk of Lung Cancer
Diseases and health conditions are often linked to one another. In a new study, researchers reported that people with previous cases of common pulmonary diseases have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
"Associations between various respiratory diseases and lung cancer have been shown in earlier studies, but few of these studies considered multiple respiratory diseases simultaneously," said researcher Ann Olsson, PhD, of the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyon, France reported in the press release. "In our pooled analysis of seven case-control studies involving more than 12,500 cases and 14,900 controls, we found associations between lung cancer and chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia, with a greater increased lung cancer risk among subjects with all three of these conditions."
In their analysis, the researchers focused on five respiratory diseases, which were chronic bronchitis, emphysema, tuberculosis, pneumonia and asthma. Data on the occurrence of these diseases were self-reported by a total of 12,739 individuals, who were compared to 14,945 people who never suffered from a combination of these conditions.
Overall, the most common pulmonary diseases that were reported were pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. After taking age, employment, education level, smoking habits and study center into account, the team found that men with chronic bronchitis and emphysema had an increased risk of lung cancer.
There was an inverse relationship between asthma and risk of lung cancer risk. The team did not find a relationship between people who had chronic bronchitis with asthma or tuberculosis and their risk of lung cancer. There was also no correlation between tuberculosis and lung cancer risk.
"The variations in the associations between lung cancer and different patterns of previous respiratory diseases that we observed in our study may indicate differences in the underlying etiological mechanisms," said Dr. Olsson. "Better understanding of these associations may help guide the type and frequency of clinical surveillance needed for patients with each of these diseases."
The study, "Is Previous Respiratory Disease a Risk Factor for Lung Cancer?" was published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.