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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Ethnic and Racial Differences in the Smoking Related Risk of Lung Cancer
Christopher A. Haiman, Sc.D., New England Journal of Medicine, 2-1-06

This article forms the basis for Sally Satel’s Spotlight this week. Researchers investigating the incidence of lung cancer in a population of over 180,000 smokers of differing ethnicities found some surprising patterns.

The risk of lung cancer among ethnic and racial groups was modified by the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Among participants who smoked no more than 30 cigarettes per day, African Americans and Native Hawaiians had significantly greater risks of lung cancer than did the other groups. Among those who smoked no more than 10 and those who smoked 11 to 20 cigarettes per day, relative risks ranged from 0.21 to 0.39 (P<0.001) among Japanese Americans and Latinos and from 0.45 to 0.57 (P<0.001) among whites, as compared with African Americans. However, at levels exceeding 30 cigarettes per day, these differences were not significant. Differences in risk associated with smoking were observed among both men and women and for all histologic types of lung cancer.

The researchers concluded that “among cigarette smokers, African Americans and Native Hawaiians are more susceptible to lung cancer than whites, Japanese Americans, and Latinos.”



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