Optimal Lung Cancer Screening Criteria Among Persons Living With HIV

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Jun 1;90(2):184-192. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002930.


Background: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) 2021 updated recommendations on lung cancer screening with chest computed tomography to apply to individuals 50-80 years of age (previously 55-80 years), with a ≥20 pack-year history (previously ≥30), whether currently smoking or quit ≤15 years ago. Despite being at higher risk for lung cancer, persons with HIV (PWH) were not well-represented in the National Lung Screening Trial, which informed the USPSTF 2013 recommendations. It is unknown or unclear how PWH are affected by the 2021 recommendations.

Setting: This study was a retrospective analysis of PWH with and without lung cancer in the Women's Interagency HIV Study and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.

Methods: We identified PWH, ages 40-80 years, who currently or previously smoked, with (cases) and without lung cancer (noncases). The sensitivity and specificity of the old, new, and alternative screening criteria were evaluated in each cohort.

Results: We identified 52 women and 19 men with lung cancer and 1950 women and 1599 men without lung cancer. Only 11 women (22%) and 6 men (32%) with lung cancer met 2013 screening criteria; however, more women (22; 44%) and men (12; 63%) met 2021 criteria. Decreased age and tobacco exposure thresholds in women further increased sensitivity of the 2021 criteria.

Conclusions: The 2021 USPSTF lung cancer screening recommendations would have resulted in more PWH with lung cancer being eligible for screening at the time of their diagnosis. Further investigation is needed to determine optimal screening criteria for PWH, particularly in women.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies