Title

Assessment of Lung Cancer Risk Among Smokers for Whom Annual Screening Is Not Recommended

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-28-2022

Journal

JAMA oncology

DOI

10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.2952

Abstract

Importance: The US Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for adults aged 50 to 80 years who are former smokers with 20 or more pack-years of smoking who quit 15 or more years ago or current smokers with less than 20 pack-years of smoking. Objective: To determine the risk of lung cancer in older smokers for whom LDCT screening is not recommended. Design, Settings, and Participants: This cohort study used the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) data sets obtained from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which also sponsored the study. The CHS enrolled 5888 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 years and older in the US from June 1989 to June 1993 and collected extensive baseline data on smoking history. The current analysis was restricted to 4279 individuals free of cancer who had baseline data on pack-year smoking history and duration of smoking cessation. The current analysis was conducted from January 7, 2022, to May 25, 2022. Exposures: Current and prior tobacco use. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incident lung cancer during a median (IQR) of 13.3 (7.9-18.8) years of follow-up (range, 0 to 22.6) through December 31, 2011. A Fine-Gray subdistribution hazard model was used to estimate incidence of lung cancer in the presence of competing risk of death. Cox cause-specific hazard regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for incident lung cancer. Results: There were 4279 CHS participants (mean [SD] age, 72.8 [5.6] years; 2450 [57.3%] women; 663 [15.5%] African American, 3585 [83.8%] White, and 31 [0.7%] of other race or ethnicity) included in the current analysis. Among the 861 nonheavy smokers (<20 pack-years), the median (IQR) pack-year smoking history was 7.6 (3.3-13.5) pack-years for the 615 former smokers with 15 or more years of smoking cessation, 10.0 (5.3-14.9) pack-years for the 146 former smokers with less than 15 years of smoking cessation, and 11.4 (7.3-14.4) pack-years for the 100 current smokers. Among the 1445 heavy smokers (20 or more pack-years), the median (IQR) pack-year smoking history was 34.8 (26.3-48.0) pack-years for the 516 former smokers with 15 or more years of smoking cessation, 48.0 (35.0-70.0) pack-years for the 497 former smokers with less than 15 years of smoking cessation, and 48.8 (31.6-57.0) pack-years for the 432 current smokers. Incident lung cancer occurred in 10 of 1973 never smokers (0.5%), 5 of 100 current smokers with less than 20 pack-years of smoking (5.0%), and 26 of 516 former smokers with 20 or more pack-years of smoking with 15 or more years of smoking cessation (5.0%). Compared with never smokers, cause-specific HRs for incident lung cancer in the 2 groups for whom LDCT is not recommended were 10.54 (95% CI, 3.60-30.83) for the current nonheavy smokers and 11.19 (95% CI, 5.40-23.21) for the former smokers with less than 15 years of smoking cessation; age, sex, and race-adjusted HRs were 10.06 (95% CI, 3.41-29.70) for the current nonheavy smokers and 10.22 (4.86-21.50) for the former smokers with less than 15 years of smoking cessation compared with never smokers. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that there is a high risk of lung cancer among smokers for whom LDCT screening is not recommended, suggesting that prediction models are needed to identify high-risk subsets of these smokers for screening.

Department

Medicine

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