Smoking behaviors that increase lung cancer risk strongly associated with HIV infection

-- Jeff Muise

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 (Last Updated: 03/11/2010)

WEDNESDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer among women with HIV infection is strongly associated with smoking, but it remains unclear if there is a further link between HIV infection and its treatment and lung cancer, according to research published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues identified lung cancer cases among 2,651 HIV-infected and 898 uninfected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). The researchers compared lung cancer incidence rates in the WIHS groups to rates from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. They also compared behavioral factors among the WIHS women to data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey III.

The investigators found that the overall incidence rate among the WIHS women was 56.0 per 100,000 patient years, which did not differ for the HIV-infected and uninfected women. However, lung cancer incidence in the WIHS groups was higher when compared to the general population. For the HIV-infected women, the lung cancer incidence rate was similar to the rate before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. The researchers note that all the women with lung cancer were smokers.

"The development of lung cancer among HIV-infected women appears very strongly correlated with tobacco exposure. As such, the development and implementation of smoking cessation programs aimed at HIV-infected persons will be of increasing importance. The precise role of HIV infection, per se, in terms of the development or progression of lung cancer awaits further clarification," the authors write.

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Specialties Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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