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Expected Burden of Lung Cancer High for People Living With HIV

Last Updated: September 18, 2017.

For people living with HIV, the expected burden of lung cancer is high, if smoking habits do not change, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For people living with HIV (PLWH), the expected burden of lung cancer is high, if smoking habits do not change, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Krishna P. Reddy, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues projected cumulative lung cancer mortality by smoking exposure among PLWH in care. Mortality rates attributed to lung cancer and other non-AIDS-related causes were stratified by smoking exposure, accounting for an HIV-conferred independent risk of lung cancer.

The researchers found that among 40-year-old men with HIV, the estimated cumulative lung cancer mortality was 28.9, 23.0, and 18.8 percent, respectively, for heavy, moderate, and light smokers who continued to smoke; compared with 7.9, 6.1, and 4.3 percent, respectively, for those who quit smoking at age 40 years, and 1.6 percent for never smokers. For women, the corresponding mortality was 27.8, 20.9, and 16.6 percent for current smokers; 7.5, 5.2, and 3.7 percent for former smokers; and 1.2 percent for never smokers. Individuals who were adherent to antiretroviral therapy (ART) who continued to smoke were six to 13 times more likely to die from lung cancer than from traditional AIDS-related causes, with variation by sex and smoking intensity. Individuals with incomplete ART adherence had higher overall mortality due to greater AIDS-related mortality risks, but lower lung cancer mortality. If smoking habits do not change, 9.3 percent of the approximately 644,200 PLWH aged 20 to 64 years in care in the United States are expected to die from lung cancer.

"Those PLWH who adhere to ART but smoke are substantially more likely to die from lung cancer than from AIDS-related causes," the authors write.

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