Authors evaluated pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) history as a risk factor for lung cancer in current male smokers in a prospective, population-based cohort study. The subjects were the 7,009 males among the participants in the Seoul Male Cancer Cohort Study for whom there was full information on PTB history and smoking habits. With a 16-yr follow-up, 93 cases of lung cancer occurred over the 99,965 person-years of the study. The estimated relative risk (RR) of PTB history of current smokers in lung cancer after adjusting for three confounders - intake of coffee and tomatoes, and age at entry - was 1.85 (95% CI: 1.08-3.19). The observed joint RRs and attributable risks (ARs) across strata of three confounders were greater than the expected, indicating a positive interaction. Thus a history of PTB in current smokers may be another risk factor for lung cancer. Based on a synergic interaction, a heavy male smoker with a PTB history would be expected to belong to the group at high risk of lung cancer.
Keywords: Cancer Incidence; Cohort Studies; Effect Modifier; Lung Neoplasms; Smoking; Tuberculosis, Pulmonary.