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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Mar 7;10(3):963-79. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10030963.

Lung cancer risk from occupational and environmental radon and role of smoking in two Czech nested case-control studies.

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National Radiation Prtotection Institute, Bartoskova 28, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from combined exposure to radon and smoking. Methodologically, it is based on case-control studies nested within two Czech cohort studies of nearly 11,000 miners followed-up for mortality in 1952-2010 and nearly 12,000 inhabitants exposed to high levels of radon in homes, with mortality follow-up in 1960-2010. In addition to recorded radon exposure, these studies use information on smoking collected from the subjects or their relatives. A total of 1,029 and 370 cases with smoking information have been observed in the occupational and environmental (residential) studies, respectively. Three or four control subjects have been individually matched to cases according to sex, year of birth, and age. The combined effect from radon and smoking is analyzed in terms of geometric mixture models of which the additive and multiplicative models are special cases. The resulting models are relatively close to the additive interaction (mixing parameter 0.2 and 0.3 in the occupational and residential studies, respectively). The impact of the resulting model in the residential radon study is illustrated by estimates of lifetime risk in hypothetical populations of smokers and non-smokers. In comparison to the multiplicative risk model, the lifetime risk from the best geometric mixture model is considerably higher, particularly in the non-smoking population.

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