Study also supports earlier research showing that airflow obstruction does up risk

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/08/2010)

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Airflow obstruction in people at high risk of lung cancer appears to be a risk factor for the disease, a finding that falls in line with previous research, though there is not a clear relationship between quantitative radiographic evidence of emphysema and lung cancer, according to a study published in the December issue of Chest.

Fabien Maldonado, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort of 1,520 current or former smokers, aged 50 and older, who were followed for four years. Sixty-four cases of lung cancer were each matched to six controls. Participants underwent computed tomography scan and spirometry.

The researchers found that decreased forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity were associated with diagnosis of lung cancer (odds ratios, 1.15 and 1.29, respectively). The quantity of radiographic evidence of emphysema was not significantly associated with lung cancer, nor was severe emphysema.

"In conclusion, we confirm prior observations suggesting a significant association between airflow obstruction and lung cancer, whereas radiographic evidence of emphysema, as quantified by a validated automated methodology, was not found to be an independent risk factor," the authors write. "Based on these results, further research is warranted in order to clarify the relationship between airflow obstruction/emphysema and lung cancer, particularly with respect to possible gender differences and to clarify the pathogenic determinants of the association observed."

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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