In a population-based case-control study of lung cancer in Shanghai involving interviews during 1984-86 with 1,405 cancer patients and 1,495 controls, a significant 50% elevation in the risk of lung cancer, adjusted for cigarette smoking, was observed among persons who had a history of tuberculosis. Among those diagnosed with tuberculosis within the past 20 years, the risk exceeded 2.5-fold. In males the lung cancers tended to occur on the same side as the previous tuberculosis infection. For both sexes, the effect of recent tuberculosis was most apparent for adenocarcinoma and peripheral tumours. No relationship was found between lung cancer risk and the type of tuberculosis therapy, including use of isoniazid. The findings suggest that tuberculosis may predispose to lung cancer, with the association most apparent among recent survivors of the infection.