Epidemiology of lung cancer

Chest. 2003 Jan;123(1 Suppl):21S-49S. doi: 10.1378/chest.123.1_suppl.21s.


In the United States, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women even though an extensive list of risk factors has been well-characterized. Far and away the most important cause of lung cancer is exposure to tobacco smoke through active or passive smoking. The reductions in smoking prevalence in men that occurred in the late 1960s through the 1980s will continue to drive the lung cancer mortality rates downward in men during the first portion of this century. This favorable trend will not persist unless further reductions in smoking prevalence are achieved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • United States / epidemiology