Duration of smoking abstinence as a predictor for non-small-cell lung cancer survival in women

Lung Cancer. 2005 Feb;47(2):165-72. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.07.045.


Background: Previous studies have attempted to investigate the impact of smoking cessation on lung cancer survival but have been limited by small numbers of former smokers and incomplete data.

Methods: Over a six-year period, 5229 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) were enrolled in a prospective cohort of whom 2052 were former smokers. Patient's characteristics were obtained from medical records and a baseline interview. Vital status was determined through multiple sources. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of smoking abstinence on post-diagnosis mortality.

Results: For all patients with NSCLC, the median survival among never, former, and current smokers was 1.4 years, 1.3 years, and 1.1 years, respectively (P < 0.01). Female NSCLC patients had a significantly lower risk of mortality with a longer duration of smoking abstinence (RR per 10 years of smoking abstinence = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.75, 0.97). No effect of smoking abstinence on mortality was observed for women with SCLC or for men with either histologic group.

Conclusions: The identification of smoking history as a prognostic factor in lung cancer survival supports previous research suggesting a direct biologic effect of smoking on survival. However, this effect may vary by sex and type of lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors