Projections of Lung Cancer Incidence by 2035 in 40 Countries Worldwide: Population-Based Study

JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2023 Feb 17;9:e43651. doi: 10.2196/43651.


Background: The global burden of lung cancer (LC) is increasing. Quantitative projections of the future LC burden in different world regions could help optimize the allocation of resources and provide a benchmark for evaluating LC prevention and control interventions.

Objective: We aimed to predict the future incidence of LC in 40 countries by 2035, with an emphasis on country- and sex-specific disparities.

Methods: Data on LC incidence from 1978 to 2012 were extracted from 126 cancer registries of 40 countries in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents Volumes V-XI and used for the projection. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) per 100,000 person-years and the number of incident cases were predicted through 2035, using the NORDPRED age-period-cohort model.

Results: Global ASRs of the 40 studied countries were predicted to decrease by 23% (8.2/35.8) among males, from 35.8 per 100,000 person-years in 2010 to 27.6 in 2035, and increase by 2% (0.3/16.8) among females, from 16.8 in 2010 to 17.1 in 2035. The ASRs of LC among females are projected to continue increasing dramatically in most countries by 2035, with peaks after the 2020s in most European, Eastern Asian, and Oceanian countries, whereas the ASRs among males will continue to decline in almost all countries. The ASRs among females are predicted to almost reach those among males in Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, and New Zealand in 2025 and in Slovenia in 2035 and even surpass those among males in Denmark in 2020 and in Brazil and Colombia in 2025. In 2035, the highest ASRs are projected to occur among males in Belarus (49.3) and among females in Denmark (36.8). The number of new cases in 40 countries is predicted to increase by 65.32% (858,000/1,314,000), from 1.31 million in 2010 to 2.17 million in 2035. China will have the largest number of new cases.

Conclusions: LC incidence is expected to continue to increase through 2035 in most countries, making LC a major public health challenge worldwide. The ongoing transition in the epidemiology of LC highlights the need for resource redistribution and improved LC control measures to reduce future LC burden worldwide.

Keywords: incidence; lung cancer; projections; temporal trends; worldwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • United States