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Yale J Biol Med. 1990 Jan-Feb;63(1):29-46.

Research on smoking and lung cancer: a landmark in the history of chronic disease epidemiology.

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1
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

This paper describes the history of the epidemiologic research on lung cancer prior to 1970 and its effect on chronic disease epidemiology. In the 1930s, epidemiology was largely concerned with acute infectious diseases. As the evidence grew that the incidence of lung cancer was increasing among men, however, epidemiologists undertook research into the etiology of the disease. In 1950, Doll and Hill, in England, and Wynder and Graham, in the United States, published substantial case-control studies that implicated the use of tobacco as a major risk factor for the disease. A controversy developed over the credibility of this finding and was increased in 1954 when a cohort study by Doll and Hill and another by Hammond and Horn each gave estimates that the risk of lung cancer was greatly increased among smokers relative to the risk among comparable non-smokers. An account is given of the disputes surrounding these and related studies. The controversy had a stimulating effect in fostering the developing discipline of chronic disease and epidemiology.

PMID:
2192501
PMCID:
PMC2589239
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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