Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 327–334

A meta-analysis of asthma and risk of lung cancer (United States)

  • Alfredo A. Santillan
  • Carlos A. CamargoJr
  • Graham A. Colditz
Article

Abstract

Objective: To review epidemiologic evidence that asthma is a risk factor for lung cancer, with particular attention to the role of smoking on this association. Methods: Through MEDLINE computer searches (January 1966 to April 2002) and a review of references, we identified studies with quantitative data on the relation of asthma to lung cancer. Summary estimates of relative risks (RR) were calculated using the fixed-effects model or the random-effects model as appropriate. Results: The combined results from five case–control studies – that presented data limited to individuals who had never smoked – showed a 1.8-fold increase in lung cancer risk among asthmatics (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3–2.3). The results from six case–control and four cohort studies, which controlled for smoking history also were significant (RR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.3–2.2). Finally, to illustrate the potential confounding by tobacco, we combined data from seven cohort studies that did not control for smoking history and found an overall RR of 1.4 (95% CI = 1.2–1.6). Conclusions: The increased risk of lung cancer among never smoking individuals with asthma supports a direct relation between asthma and lung cancer. There is biological evidence to support this association.

asthma epidemiology lung neoplasm meta-analysis smoking 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfredo A. Santillan
    • 1
  • Carlos A. CamargoJr
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Graham A. Colditz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Emergency MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Channing LaboratoryCancer Causes and ControlBostonUSA

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