Risk of lung cancer and residential radon in China: pooled results of two studies

Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar;109(1):132-7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.11683.


Studies of radon-exposed underground miners predict that residential radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer mortality; however, case-control studies of residential radon have not provided unambiguous evidence of an association. Owing to small expected risks from residential radon and uncertainties in dosimetry, large studies or pooling of multiple studies are needed to fully evaluate effects. We pooled data from 2 case-control studies of residential radon representing 2 large radon studies conducted in China. The studies included 1050 lung cancer cases and 1996 controls. In the pooled data, odds ratios (OR) increased significantly with greater radon concentration. Based on a linear model, the OR with 95% confidence intervals (CI) at 100 Becquerel/cubic-meter (Bq/m(3)) was 1.33 (1.01,1.36). For subjects resident in the current home for 30 years or more, the OR at 100 Bq/m(3) was 1.32 (1.07,1.91). Results across studies were consistent with homogeneity. Estimates of ORs were similar to extrapolations from miner data and consistent with published residential radon studies in North American and Europe, suggesting long-term radon exposure at concentrations found in many homes increases lung cancer risk.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive*
  • Carcinogens, Environmental
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Radon*
  • Smoking
  • Television
  • Time Factors


  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Carcinogens, Environmental
  • Radon