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Prim Care Respir J. 2010 Mar;19(1):57-61. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2009.00048.

Recent trends in lung cancer and its association with COPD: an analysis using the UK GP Research Database.

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PAREXEL International, PACE, London, UK.



The association between lung cancer and COPD has not been investigated in the primary care setting.


We determined the recent trends of lung cancer in COPD patients in the UK during the period 1991-2004, by investigating the population aged 45 and over in the General Practice Research Database.


The annual-incidence rates of lung cancer per 10,000 person-years were at least four-fold higher in patients with prior COPD (increasing from 45 to 64 in men; 29 to 48 in women) compared with the general population (from 10 to 15 in men; 5 to 10 in women). These lung cancer trends had significant annual increases that were similar in men (5%) and in women (5.5%) with prior COPD; in contrast, the annual increases of lung cancer incidence rates in the general population differed by gender, being 4% in men but double in women (8%). The three-year survival for lung cancer patients among those with prior COPD was almost half that of the general population (15% versus 26%; p<0.01) and the highest mortality was observed in men aged 45-64 (83.79 per 100 person-years; 95% CI: 69.66-97.92).


These results support the association of COPD and lung cancer observed in other settings.

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