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Race-Specific Model Better Predicts Lung Cancer in Blacks

Unique group-specific risk factors may increase risk among blacks

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Risk models of lung cancer developed in white populations may not accurately predict risk in black populations, researchers report in the September issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Carol J. Etzel, Ph.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues performed a case-control study examining data from 491 black lung cancer patients and 497 matched controls to determine specific lung cancer risks, develop a multivariable risk model and estimate the five-year risk.

Current smoking (odds ratio, 6.20) and former smoking (OR, 3.38) both significantly increased risk of lung cancer among blacks, the researchers report. Among current smokers, smoking duration of 30 or more years (OR, 1.97), a history of greater than 40 pack-years (OR, 3.44) or smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day (OR, 3.94) all significantly increased the risk of lung cancer. The investigators report that the final multivariable risk model included the following factors: smoking status, pack-years smoked, age at smoking cessation and number of years since smoking cessation, self-reported physician diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or hay fever, and exposures to asbestos or wood dusts. The model demonstrated improved discrimination over the Spitz model of lung cancer risk developed in white patients, the authors note.

"This study shows that African-Americans have risk factors for lung cancer that also occur in whites," Etzel and colleagues conclude. "However, the level of risk may differ depending on the type and level of exposure."

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