Women's susceptibility to tobacco carcinogens

Lung Cancer. 2004 Jan;43(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2003.08.024.


Study objectives: To assess lung cancer risk of smoking women relative to that of equally smoking men.

Methods: The study base was constituted by baseline CT screenings for lung cancer on 1202 women and 1288 men, at least 40 years of age and with at least 10 pack-years of cigarette smoking. The prevalence-odds (incidence-density) ratio contrasting women with men was calculated. Confoundings by age and the particulars of smoking history were controlled in logistic regression analysis.

Results: For the prevalence-odds ratio contrasting women with men, upon control of age and smoking history, the point estimate was 2.7 and the 95% interval estimate 1.6-4.7. The diagnosed cancers were of equally 'aggressive' types between the two genders.

Conclusions: At variance with evidence from cohort studies, this evidence from a screening experience calls for further consideration of the hypothesis that women are more susceptible to tobacco carcinogens than are men.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco / toxicity*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Carcinogens