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Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2011 Jun;8(3):326-32. doi: 10.1513/pats.201009-061WR.

HIV infection in the etiology of lung cancer: confounding, causality, and consequences.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Persons infected with HIV have an elevated risk of lung cancer, but whether the increase simply reflects a higher smoking prevalence continues to be debated. This review summarizes existing data on the association of HIV infection and lung cancer, with particular attention to study design and adjustment for cigarette smoking. Potential mechanisms by which HIV infection may lead to lung cancer are discussed. Finally, irrespective of causality and mechanisms, lung cancer represents an important and growing problem confronting HIV-infected patients and their providers. Substantial efforts are needed to promote smoking cessation and to control lung cancer among HIV-infected populations.

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