Cigarette smoking and large cell carcinoma of the lung

Muscat, Joshua E.; Stellman, Steven D.; Zhang, Zuo-Feng; Neugut, Alfred I.; Wynder, Ernst L.

Large cell carcinoma is the fourth most common histological type of lung cancer in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes large cell lung cancer, but it is uncertain whether the effect varies with the amount and duration of smoking. This uncertainty stems from ambiguity in the histopathological classification of large cell cancer, especially before 1971, and the relatively infrequent occurrence of large cell cancer in epidemiological studies. The present case-control investigation demonstrates that the risk of large cell cancer increases with both the frequency and number of years of cigarette smoking. The odds ratio associated with smoking two or more packs/day was 37.0 (95% confidence interval, 16.4-83.2) in men and 72.9 (35.4- 150.2) in women. It is concluded that cigarette smoking is the predominant cause of large cell lung cancer.


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Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

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November 11, 2014