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Among Non-Smokers, Men Have Higher Lung Cancer Death Rates

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

By Miranda Hitti

A new study sheds light on lung cancer deaths in lifelong nonsmokers.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, includes these findings:

Among people who never smoked cigarettes, women aren’t more likely than men to die of lung cancer. The rate of lung cancer deaths in lifelong nonsmokers has been fairly stable in recent decades. Black women who never smoked cigarettes may be more likely than white women to die of lung cancer.

“Contrary to clinical perception, the lung cancer death rate is not higher in female than in male never smokers and shows little evidence of having increased over time in the absence of smoking,” write Michael Thun, MD, and colleagues in theJournal of the National Cancer Institute.

Thun works in the epidemiology and surveillance research department of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

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