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Chest. 2007 May;131(5):1289-94. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Racial differences in cancer risk among relatives of patients with early onset lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Relatives of patients with early onset lung cancer are at increased risk for lung cancer, and this risk varies by race. This study evaluates whether first-degree relatives of patients with early onset lung cancer are at increased risk for cancer at sites other than lung.


Family histories were ascertained from 673 lung cancer patients < 50 years of age identified from the Metropolitan Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, and 773 age-, race-, and sex-matched control subjects were obtained via random-digit dialing. Data were collected for 3,556 case relatives (mothers, fathers, and siblings) and 3,943 control relatives, and unconditional logistic regression models using generalized estimating equations were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Among case relatives, African Americans were 2.44-fold more likely to have head and neck cancers and 1.86-fold more likely to have any tobacco-related cancer compared to white case relatives (95% CI, 1.04 to 5.69% and 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.76, respectively). African-American case relatives were at increased risk for head and neck cancers (OR, 13.42; 95% CI, 1.65 to 109.01), all tobacco-related cancers (OR, 3.77; 95% CI, 2.16 to 6.55), tobacco-related cancers other than lung (OR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.56 to 10.79), and cancer at any site (OR, 1.45, 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.02) compared to African-American control relatives.


These results can be used to counsel family members of patients with early onset lung cancer, and suggest target populations for preventive strategies, including smoking cessation and appropriate screening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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